The workers who drive Facebook's luxury shuttles have exposed the harsh realities of their jobs over the past few months. Now they're turning their complaints into action, pushing Facebook to help them unionize for better wages and livable work schedules.
In a letter sent on Thursday, the top Teamsters official for Northern California urged Mr. Zuckerberg to press Facebook's shuttle bus contractor to agree to bargain with the union on behalf of the 40 drivers who ferry Facebook employees to work.
"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," the Teamsters official, Rome Aloise, said in the letter.
Most Facebook drivers earn between $18 and $20 per hour. However, the drivers' biggest complaint is Facebook's insistence on a split-shift, which drives down their take home pay. Previously, the shuttle operators criticized the practice, saying that the time between shifts was unpaid that they felt like they were "held hostage" during the day.
Employees are asking that Facebook's shuttle contractor, Loop Transportation, hire two teams of drivers at full-time wages—one for the morning shift, and another for the evening.
Loop says the union is unnecessary, claiming to provide "high level of wages and benefits to our drivers." The company also setup a "lounge" for drivers to use between shifts.
[Loop president Jeff Leonoudakis] said his company has set up a lounge for the drivers with reclining chairs and a big-screen TV at the Loop bus parking lot that [driver Cliff Doi] uses. He said the company was putting in bunk beds.
That lounge is in a trailer, Mr. Doi said, adding that he had not seen any bunk beds and that the reclining chairs were less than ideal for napping.
In the letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the Teamster's slammed the treatment of Facebook's drivers, describing them as low-wage servants to the rich:
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.