Labor Vote: Facebook Shuttle Drivers To Unionize

The drivers are employed by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) contractor Loop Transportation, and take employees of the tech giant to and from work. They voted to join Teamsters Local 853.

Facebook Shuttle Drivers

“The only way that Loop will listen to us is with a union and a collective voice,” said Demaurae Hooston, a driver. “I’m very relieved that we have that now.”

Concerns with Facebook’s shuttle labors

One of the main concerns was the stressful shift schedule, which sees them start work around 6 a.m., and not finish work until 9 p.m.. They typically work from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., take a 6-hour break, and then work from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. This split shift schedule has proven stressful.

Another concern is inadequate pay, given the high price of housing in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. This has led to complaints that drivers live prohibitively far away from Facebook headquarters to go home and rest during their break. Loop has underlined its commitment to providing comfortable rest areas for drivers to use between shifts.

Rome Aloise, secretary treasurer of Teamsters Local 853, stated that if they managed to bargain a good contract at Loop, they would attempt to unionize other drivers who work at Google, among other Silicon Valley companies.

Facebook’s shuttle contractor awaiting negotiations

Loop released a statement in which they stated that although they respected the election results, it does not believe the union best represents driver interests. The company repeated that it was proud to provide a living wage, paid vacations and sick days and full medical coverage for full-time drivers.

Mr. Aloise then sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking him to do what he could to encourage negotiations between Loop and the union.

“While your employees earn extraordinary wages and are able to live and enjoy life in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the Bay Area, these drivers can’t afford to support a family, send their children to school, or, least of all, afford to even dream of buying a house anywhere near where they work,” he wrote.

Watch this space for ongoing developments on an issue which could lead to greater unionization in Silicon Valley.