SAN LEANDRO, Calif., March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Drivers for Facebook contractor Loop Transportation are now covered under a Teamsters Local 853 contract, providing for wage increases, health care benefits and a number of improvements to their working conditions. The contract, which workers overwhelmingly voted to ratify on Feb. 21, went to Facebook for its agreement as Loop's paying client before implementation.
The 87 shuttle bus drivers transport Facebook employees to and from the company's Menlo Park, Calif., campus. The drivers voted overwhelmingly in November to join Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif. They are among a growing number of shuttle drivers in Silicon Valley feeling the pinch of income inequality and organizing to improve their wages and working conditions.
"With this contract, Facebook drivers at Loop have made life-changing improvements, and they are paving the way for other shuttle drivers in Silicon Valley to come together and improve their lives," said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853. "We appreciate Loop and Facebook working cooperatively to recognize the important service the drivers perform day in and day out."
"Loop's drivers are the backbone of our business and we respect the difficult and important job that they do. That's why it's so gratifying to work collaboratively with Facebook and the Teamsters Local 853 to reach our goal of ensuring that we're able to provide our drivers with the best possible wages, benefits and working conditions," said Jeff Leonoudakis, CEO of Loop Transportation.
The contract includes 11 paid holidays; up to five weeks paid vacation; paid bereavement leave; guaranteed hours based on scheduled shifts; seniority provisions; health care for workers and the families of full time workers, fully paid by Loop; a minimum six-hour day for workers who can't work split shifts; wage increases for workers on split shifts; pay-rate protections; guaranteed overtime; paid jury duty and more.
With this contract, the average pay for workers at Loop, who live in one of the most expensive areas of the country, will be $27.50 an hour, including split differential, up from $18 an hour.
Following Facebook drivers' successful organizing efforts, drivers who transport employees for six big Silicon Valley companies voted overwhelmingly on Feb. 27 in favor of representation by Local 853.
The 158 full and part-time drivers—employees of Compass Transportation—shuttle Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Zynga, Genentech and Amtrak workers to and from work and home.
Apple has already announced it will increase hourly pay and benefits by 25 percent on average for drivers. Google has announced it will provide around 20 percent in raises and benefit increases.
The Teamsters Union is part of a growing movement of labor, faith and community-based organizations and workers challenging income inequality in Silicon Valley through an innovative partnership called Silicon Valley Rising.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.