Teamsters seek to unionize more tech shuttle bus drivers in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Union supporters of drivers who shuttle around Apple employees, were protesting outside the tech giant's Cupertino headquarters on Wednesday morning, ahead of their big vote Friday on whether to join the Teamsters Union.

Teamsters were already successful unionizing drivers at Facebook. Now they're looking to take a bite out of Apple and other Silicon Valley companies.

The teamsters trucked into Cupertino to protest working conditions for 120 full and part-time shuttle and bus drivers who work at Apple and other Silicon Valley companies, like Yahoo, eBay and Genentech.

The drivers are contracted through Compass Transportation.

Union officials say drivers get low wages and benefit packages, while often working split shifts with long waits in between.

Trish Suzuki with the Teamsters says, "I think it's about sharing the wealth. 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."

The teamsters successfully unionized closed to 90 drivers at Facebook this past November.

Loop transportation, which contracts with the Menlo Park social networking company, made a new deal with the drivers recently.

The teamsters say the contract increased the value of the worker's health care, pension and wage package by $33,000 a year per employee.

That's the same goal Teamsters have for the workers at Apple contracted with Compass Transportation.

"I think it behooves these companies to be a good community partner and they can improve things societal by raising people up who do work for them to at least make a decent living, have decent benefits for their family and have some future," said Rome Aloise with the Teamsters.

Apple had no comment on the protest. Compass Transportation did not respond to reporter request for an interview.
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