Mark Zuckerberg has certainly made plenty of enemies since he started Facebook, but now he has crossed one group of people that you just don’t want to piss off – The Teamsters.
The conflict with one of America’s largest unions, which represents truck and bus drivers, revolves around Facebook’s contentious private bus service that it offers its employees who reverse commute from San Francisco to Silicon Valley. Locals view it as a sign of the gentrification of their neighborhoods and do not like seeing the Facebook buses share the local public bus stops.
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Now the drivers of those buses are complaining about low pay and poor working conditions. Fascebook employs about 40 drivers who only earn up to $20 an hour. Silicon Valley companies tend to outsource their unskilled labor position to other firms. This is the case with Facebook’s bus drivers who work for a separate company, Loop Transportation.
In a letter that Rome A. Aloise the Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters sent to Zuckerberg he described the bus drivers as servants driving around the Facebook noblemen.
Aloise wrote, “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.”
“This 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.”
He urged Zuckerberg to allow the drivers the opportunity to unionize with the organization of their choice.
Aloise also said that his union has evidence that a majority of the drivers wish to join the local Teamsters 853 and that they want the right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.