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Shuttle drivers of eBay, Yahoo and Apple unionize for being underpaid


3 drivers of Yahoo, Apple, eBay, Zynga and Genentech voted to unionize against being underpaid and overworked. The voting was conducted at a secret ballot in several driver rest locations in South San Francisco and San Jose.

AP080128040021

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Drivers from Compass Transportation voted 104-38 in favor of the Teamsters Union while 16 did not cast ballots. Recently, Facebook drivers voted to join the Teamsters in November. The move is likely to trigger drivers of several companies in the Silicon Valley to unionize. The Teamsters Union works to support drivers as they are not paid well on the basis of growth in the region.

“We need wages commensurate with what it costs to live in this area, but it’s not just about wages,” said Tracy Kelley, a compass driver.

The voting comes in the wake of drivers being overworked, underpaid and unfair compensation. Drivers also cite the lack of rest areas and their six-hour breaks remain underpaid during the morning and evening shifts. Rome Aloise, secretary-treasurer of Local 853 stated that local drivers in Silicon Valley were paid anywhere between $5 to $9.50 per hour and extra for overtime work.

Greentech spokesperson Lisa Slater stated that the company was respecting the decision of the drivers. Compass Transportation owned by SuperShuttle offers shuttle services with over 107 vehicles including mini-buses and full size coaches. Google was the first company in San Francisco to offer shuttle services for employees. Tech companies in Silicon Valley has obtained more than 500 permits for the drivers in the service.

The contract by the Facebook drivers have asked an average increase in wages to $24.50 from $18 and extra for split shifts. The contract is yet to be approved by the social-networking company though negotiations are likely to sort out the issues soon. More drivers are set to unionize soon to gain strength for the protest.

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