Fast on the heels of this story last week about the long hours and miserable lives of corporate shuttle bus drivers, the Teamsters decided to reach out to Mark Zuckerberg himself in a bid to allow shuttle drivers for Facebook to unionize. The union chose Facebook as its high-profile jumping off point but plans to get Google, Apple, and others on board as well, as the New York Times reports.
At issue, as some of the drivers told the Chronicle last week, are the split shifts most of them are forced to work, shuttling workers in the early morning down to the Peninsula, having to take the afternoon off, unpaid, with nowhere to go, and then working another four or five hours in the evening. This means their entire "shift" could last 15 hours, only the afternoon hours spent killing time on one of these corporate campuses aren't supposed to count.
In a letter sent on Thursday on behalf of 40 drivers employed by a bus contractor working for Facebook, Teamster's rep Rome Aloise wrote, "It is reminiscent of a time when noblemen were driven around in their coaches by their servants. Frankly, little has changed; except the noblemen are your employees, and the servants are the bus drivers who carry them back and forth each day."
Of course, none of this is really up to Zuckerberg since the company contracts out the bus service to Loop Transportation, but the idea seems to be that Zuck will be able to force the hand of Loop, who has already issued a formal statement defending their treatment of drivers. They note that they provide medical and dental benefits, paid vacations, offer overtime to their workers, and they pay decent wages of $18 to $20. So, says a rep, "I don’t think the union is necessary in this case."
The drivers, though, might like it if a union could negotiate this split-shift issue, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.