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Silicon Valley Shuttle Drivers at Five More Companies Vote to Join Teamsters


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On Friday, shuttle drivers for five major Silicon Valley tech firms voted to be represented by the Teamsters union.  The 158 affected drivers are employed by Compass Transportation, which provides transportation services to Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Greentech, and Zynga.  According to the Teamsters, the final vote was 104-38 in favor of joining the union.  16 drivers chose not to cast a ballot.  

The final push followed the announcement that Facebook shuttle drivers unionized in late 2014 and would earn between $21 and $28.50 an hour with improved work conditions.  Predictions of the Facebook vote creating a domino effect for Silicon Valley’s transportation workers were spot on.

Rome Aloise, International Vice President of the Teamsters, spoke to CBS San Francisco about improvements in health care benefits and working conditions:  

Drivers will see their wages increase by anywhere from $5 to $9.50 per hour, and drivers who are currently working split shifts with no additional compensation will be able to opt out, working a single shift instead, according to the union.

“Or, if they choose to work split shifts they’ll have a significant pay premium to do so,” Aloise said. “Plus if those split shifts cause them to work over eight hours they’ll be paid time-and-a-half.”

The shuttle buses became an icon of Silicon Valley income inequality. Tech company employees earn high wages and receive great benefits that allow them to live comfortably in the region despite rising prices. The same could not be said of the drivers, but representation hopes to change that.

“I think it’s about sharing the wealth,” the Teamsters’ Trish Suzuki told ABC 7. “Apple is one of the richest companies out here and as long as their workers are making a lot of money, it’s also deserving that the drivers are also able to have a living wage, good healthcare and the right to choose a union.”

Aloise notes that Compass Transportation deals with “some of the richest companies in the world” and that higher wages for drivers was “chump change to them.”


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