Tech shuttle drivers approve Teamsters contract, Apple working with contractors to raise pay

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
After gaining representation by the Teamsters Union, a group of shuttle bus drivers serving Apple and other high technology companies in Silicon Valley on Saturday voted unanimously to adopt a three-year contract promising better pay and working conditions.




Today's non-binding contract looks to garner higher wages and benefits for drivers working at Compass Transportation, a shuttle service contracted by Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo and Zynga. According to The Wall Street Journal, the next step is for Compass to submit the contract, terms of which were negotiated by Teamsters Local 853 over a period of five months, to those companies for approval.

For its part, Apple said it is working with multiple contractors to offer drivers better working conditions, which in many cases comes down to higher wages.

"The pay increases are so significant to these people," said Rome Aloise, Teamsters International vice president and Local 853 principal officer. "They're life-changing."

The proposed plan is based in part on agreements reached by Facebook contractor Loop Transportation, which raised pay and overtime from an estimated $18 to $20 an hour to as much as $27.50 per hour. That deal also included extra benefits for overtime work and compensation for drivers running split shifts.

Silicon Valley shuttle drivers are fighting to bring parity to a wage gap between contract workers and the high-income tech employees they serve. According to recent estimates, skill positions at affluent tech companies bring in median yearly incomes of about $119,000, while non-skill jobs like those held by shuttle drivers come in at around $27,000.

Compass drivers elected to unionize under the Teamsters in February.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 44member
    Not to be insensitive but the shuttle drivers and their unions should not expect their wages to be anywhere near that of a tech. executive. There should be no comparison. Getting a degree or creating a startup is completely different from applying to be a shuttle driver. I'm not knocking what shuttle drivers do but let's be realistic.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    n2macs wrote: »
    Not to be insensitive but the shuttle drivers and their unions should not expect their wages to be anywhere near that of a tech. executive. There should be no comparison. Getting a degree or creating a startup is completely different from applying to be a shuttle driver. I'm not knocking what shuttle drivers do but let's be realistic.

    What's wrong with a livable wage? $27,000 is a surviving wage.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by n2macs View Post



    Not to be insensitive but the shuttle drivers and their unions should not expect their wages to be anywhere near that of a tech. executive. There should be no comparison. Getting a degree or creating a startup is completely different from applying to be a shuttle driver. I'm not knocking what shuttle drivers do but let's be realistic.



    Working is working. Good people should be allowed to be happy and well paid. It's an expensive place to live. Just don't impose rules that make it difficult to properly deal with the incompetent. 

  • Reply 4 of 51
    Neat.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    ttollerton wrote: »
    Skilled vs unskilled. It's not an insult. It's a description of the type of labor being performed. The skill to develop new ideas and turn it into useful software is much more challenging and hard to come by than the skill to drive a bus. If you want a lifestyle better than that which is afforded by driving a bus, then use bus driving as a stepping stone to something that requires a little more unique skill. Don't consider it a career.

    This "deserves to be paid" nonsense is a bunch of bull. Focusing on figuring out better ways to contribute more or create more value is far more effective at encouraging employers to increase compensation and benefits than a constant fixation on how much more per hour one can squeeze out of a low-level position.

    Who made you arbiter on what's skilled and non-skilled? The fact is that driving a bus is not easy, and not everyone can 'contribute more or create more value'.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    A wage that offers a reasonable pay on which to live in relative comfort should be standard and not something we have to constantly fight for. In the UK the minimum wage is peanuts, people have to work long hours to make ends meet, and often gain more on benefits so the governments answer is to reduce benefits. Go figure.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 573member
    n2macs wrote: »
    Not to be insensitive but the shuttle drivers and their unions should not expect their wages to be anywhere near that of a tech. executive. There should be no comparison. Getting a degree or creating a startup is completely different from applying to be a shuttle driver. I'm not knocking what shuttle drivers do but let's be realistic.

    Of course the drivers are not expecting a salary anywhere near a tech executive. But they are expecting pay and conditions that a support a reasonable life.

    The more money they earn, the more they can put back into the local community when they pay for food, rent, electronic appliances etc. This benefits the whole economy with increased tax take, increased service jobs to look after them. It's a virtuous circle.

    When the fat cats hoard all the money in off shore bank accounts and pay next to no tax, everybody loses except the one percent. Which is why the U.S. is where it is today with crumbling roads and a falling middle class.

    I appreciate this is an overly simplified summation of a very complicated issue, but if people took off their partisan glasses they could see that it is not rocket science we are talking about here.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 108member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    What's wrong with a livable wage? $27,000 is a surviving wage.



    Not in the San Francisco Bay Area, where these drivers work (and live, if they can afford it).

  • Reply 9 of 51
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,509member
    n2macs wrote: »
    Not to be insensitive but the shuttle drivers and their unions should not expect their wages to be anywhere near that of a tech. executive. There should be no comparison. Getting a degree or creating a startup is completely different from applying to be a shuttle driver. I'm not knocking what shuttle drivers do but let's be realistic.

    I did find it a bit perverse that they want parity with tech workers, that is complete nonsense.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,509member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    What's wrong with a livable wage? $27,000 is a surviving wage.
    Mainly because paying people excessive wages is a disincentive for them to improve themselves. It is the same concept as to over supporting the welfare elite. Hunger pains can do wonders to get people off their asses and put in a little effort.

    Besides how do you define livable wage? The whole concept is nonsense as we are all individuals with individual needs and vastly different desires as to what we get out of life. People should be driven to the occupations that meet their needs. Occupations shouldn't be inflated to meet a persons needs.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,509member
    lostkiwi wrote: »
    Of course the drivers are not expecting a salary anywhere near a tech executive. But they are expecting pay and conditions that a support a reasonable life.
    The way I read it they are expecting parity with tech workers which is complete non sense. Actually for many areas their pay rates would be consider extraordinary already for drivers.
    The more money they earn, the more they can put back into the local community when they pay for food, rent, electronic appliances etc. This benefits the whole economy with increased tax take, increased service jobs to look after them. It's a virtuous circle.
    Or put into drugs, alcohol and whores. It isn''t so much that the circle is virtuous but rather that it covers a lot of ground.
    When the fat cats hoard all the money in off shore bank accounts and pay next to no tax, everybody loses except the one percent. Which is why the U.S. is where it is today with crumbling roads and a falling middle class.
    I find that to be extremely funny given the context here. These people support Apple whom currently has a massive amount of off shore cash.
    I appreciate this is an overly simplified summation of a very complicated issue, but if people took off their partisan glasses they could see that it is not rocket science we are talking about here.

    There is nothing partisan about bad policy. Wages should should be demand driven beyond the minimum wage level. Now I'm all for a reasonable minimum wage but I'm totally against paying kids $15 an hour to work at Mc Donald's.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    What's wrong with a livable wage? $27,000 is a surviving wage.
    Mainly because paying people excessive wages is a disincentive for them to improve themselves. It is the same concept as to over supporting the welfare elite. Hunger pains can do wonders to get people off their asses and put in a little effort.

    Besides how do you define livable wage? The whole concept is nonsense as we are all individuals with individual needs and vastly different desires as to what we get out of life. People should be driven to the occupations that meet their needs. Occupations shouldn't be inflated to meet a persons needs.

    Wow what an elitist comment. Improve themselves how exactly? All these workers flooded an area, and drove the prices of everything up, from property values, rents both commercial and residential, the price of food, etc... Everyone is raking in the dough except for the incumbent residents, and workers. A rising tide lifts all boats, from the luxury yacht to the little dinghy. Take waiters for instance, one works at a diner, and another works in a fancy upscale restaurant, they're both doing the same low skill labor but the latter one makes much more money, why? Because he/she is catering to people with more money.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,184member
    Drugs, alcohol, and whores? I must have missed the part about the moral superiority of rich people who never spend their money on such things.

    Why is it that laissez-faire or social Darwinist capitalist apologists like you fail to see that negotiating with the representatives of their workers is just as much a factor in "demand" as negotiating with a parts supplier?
  • Reply 14 of 51
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    Drugs, alcohol, and whores? I must have missed the part about the moral superiority of rich people who never spend their money on such things.

    The rich are the only ones that can afford that trifecta. I can only afford alcohol. :lol:
  • Reply 15 of 51
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,474moderator
    These types of issues tend to resolve themselves over time. In the future, the choice between hiring bus drivers and utilizing self-driving busses will sort this all out. If bus drivers are truly worth what they are asking for in terms of compensation, then they will compare favorably to self-driving busses once those become available.

    Same for the fast food workers. You can be certain the companies out there that create the current generation of fast food restaurant equipment are salivating at the notion of fast-food workers' demands for $15/hour minimum wages. These companies likely see the potential cost/benefit comparison between more expensive workers and fully automated systems as becoming weighted more in favor of fully automated systems. No worries about hair, or worse, in the food, and vacation and sick time replaced with more predictable maintenance downtime. Tireless, never complaining machines are the future, whether society likes it or not.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,474moderator
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Wow what an elitist comment. Improve themselves how exactly? All these workers flooded an area, and drove the prices of everything up, from property values, rents both commercial and residential, the price of food, etc... Everyone is raking in the dough except for the incumbent residents, and workers. A rising tide lifts all boats, from the luxury yacht to the little dinghy. Take waiters for instance, one works at a diner, and another works in a fancy upscale restaurant, they're both doing the same low skill labor but the latter one makes much more money, why? Because he/she is catering to people with more money.

    Your 'rising tide lift all boats' analogy refers more to property values than it does to worker skills and the value of such. I assume that those living in the area who owned homes, even bus drivers and waiters, benefited from the rising home values. This is appropriate. It's not so appropriate to suggest that their skills should automatically be worth more.

    As to those waiters, this is an example of the market properly functioning. The fact that tips are higher in an upscale restaurant means that such a restaurant the can be more discriminating in its choice of wait staff. It can select only those with an impeccable work history, demand a higher level of appearance in grooming and dress from those workers, and hold them to a higher standard of decorum in their interaction with its patrons. Not all those applying can meet such standards, and so those who do, who have conducted themselves appropriately in their past employment, who have educated themselves on the personal conduct required, and who have the discipline to hold themselves in every moment and every circumstance to a high standard will get those jobs and the higher income those jobs imply. Not all wait staff are equal, and so it's perfectly appropriate not all should draw the same income.

    And back to the bus drivers. Those who most closely meet the standards required of a good bus driver, by whatever those standards are, should be more highly rewarded than those who do not. This has less to do with the specific route they are subsequently assigned to drive, I would think. And it's there that their arguments for higher pay across the board, based on externalities such as cost of living in one area over another, break down.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,086member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Wow what an elitist comment. Improve themselves how exactly? All these workers flooded an area, and drove the prices of everything up, from property values, rents both commercial and residential, the price of food, etc... Everyone is raking in the dough except for the incumbent residents, and workers. A rising tide lifts all boats, from the luxury yacht to the little dinghy. Take waiters for instance, one works at a diner, and another works in a fancy upscale restaurant, they're both doing the same low skill labor but the latter one makes much more money, why? Because he/she is catering to people with more money.

    Servers in high end restaurants do not do the same work as a person serving in a diner nor is it really low skilled. Not even close. The level of knowledge you need to have at a high end restaurant is well beyond that of a diner server. There is an art to high end serving that takes years to learn. Not just anyone can walk in and do it. This I know because I did it myself. I made roughly $70k per year. At a five star restaurant you can make $100k.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,542member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    What's wrong with a livable wage? $27,000 is a surviving wage.

    If you're living in an expensive part of the country and stuck in a low-paying job, the problem isn't the job, it's you.

    Also, it should be noted that many bus drivers will start to be replaced by automation over the next 4-5 years and other low skill, high minimum wage workers will find themselves phased out of the workforce due to intelligent automation...one reason I advocate for the elimination of the minimum wage. Otherwise, there will be a large permanent class of unemployed.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    sirlance99 wrote: »
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Wow what an elitist comment. Improve themselves how exactly? All these workers flooded an area, and drove the prices of everything up, from property values, rents both commercial and residential, the price of food, etc... Everyone is raking in the dough except for the incumbent residents, and workers. A rising tide lifts all boats, from the luxury yacht to the little dinghy. Take waiters for instance, one works at a diner, and another works in a fancy upscale restaurant, they're both doing the same low skill labor but the latter one makes much more money, why? Because he/she is catering to people with more money.

    Servers in high end restaurants do not do the same work as a person serving in a diner nor is it really low skilled. Not even close. The level of knowledge you need to have at a high end restaurant is well beyond that of a diner server. There is an art to high end serving that takes years to learn. Not just anyone can walk in and do it. This I know because I did it myself. I made roughly $70k per year. At a five star restaurant you can make $100k.

    You're not telling me anything I didn't know, but that's the same mindset many here have. Do any of us know what it takes to be a bus driver? They literally have people's lives in their hands, and they must keep an impeccable driving record. A bus driver is someone who takes his/her job seriously and provides an honorable service. I don't get all the hate that they get on here.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,184member
    Tireless, never complaining machines are the future, whether society likes it or not.

    Can't wait for those Shakespeare and David Hockney robots. So tired of whiny human artists. The Jony Ive robot will save Apple a lot of money too. ????
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