Teamster Tech Drivers are Making Strides
December 28, 2015 by Dalisai Nisperos
Silicon Valley shuttle bus drivers who organized with Teamsters Local 853 will have some well-deserved blessings to count as the year comes to an end. Almost 200 drivers who provide shuttle services for tech giants such as Apple, PayPal, Yahoo, eBay, Evernote and Genentech have just bargained their first contract with Compass Transportation, their employer.
After several months of negotiations, Local 853 Compass drivers ratified the Union’s contract proposals in August 2015, and even considered striking after Compass had still not reached an agreement with the Union in October. But, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Teamsters 853 and Compass Transportation reached an agreement that was unanimously ratified by members.
The three-year contract includes economic benefits which mirror those secured by Local 853 Facebook shuttle drivers earlier in the year. For the first time, Compass tech drivers will enjoy wages ranging from $21.00 to $26.50 per hour, premium pay for split shift work, a guarantee of at least six hours of work for drivers who do not work a split shift, 10 paid holidays, and paid sick leave, among other benefits. Compass will also pay the majority of the cost of healthcare coverage for employees who sign up for benefits.
Prior to joining the Teamsters, Compass tech drivers endured grueling working conditions including poverty wages and a work schedule that caused many drivers to be at work for as many as 16 hours, while earning 8 hours of wages or less. Teamsters Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise stated, “This is an industry where less than a year ago, the drivers were making between $17 and $19 an hour with very little benefits, no paid holidays, no paid overtime or sick leave. It’s a life-changing contract.”
This new contract is proof positive that Silicon Valley’s hourly employees stand to gain by unionizing and demanding better working conditions.
Additional coverage of Teamsters organizing in the Silicon Valley tech industry is available here: https://teamster.org/tech-drivers-deserve-union.
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