What keeps you up at night?
There are lots of things out that to keep an engaged human resources pro up at night. Talent retention, executive compensation, sales compensation, compliance issues, ACA and what the hell to do with that idiot manager who makes condescending remarks to his staff. Take your pick, there’s plenty to choose from.
Here’s one you probably don’t worry about late at night.
Are the bus drivers on my corporate campus happy and engaged?
Maybe questions like this should be keeping you up at night. Some of the major tech companies in Silicon Valley found out recently that Teamsters Local 873 sent a lettertelling them they have a labor problem on their hands, but with a twist. It’s not Apple’s employees who are pissed. It’s the people who take care of many of the needs of the employees who work at many of Silicon Valley’s tech giants.
The Teamsters sent letters last week to the CEOs of Amtrak, Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo and Zynga informing them that their contract shuttle bus drivers would like to join the union and urge them to show their support, said Rome Aloise, international vice president and secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 853.
By unionizing, the shuttle bus drivers stand to gain better pay and benefits, as well as relief from a split shift that forces them to drive routes in the morning and evening with no pay in between, Aloise said. The drivers work for Compass Transportation, a South San Francisco-based company that has agreements with the tech companies.
“These tech companies are going to have to step up and pay more money so these drivers can have some shot at a decent life,” he said.
The bid to unionize more shuttle bus drivers, first reported by USA Today, comes amid an escalating debate in Silicon Valley over the gulf between handsomely paid tech employees and the legion of contract workers who serve them lunch, guard their campuses and drive them to and from work — without any lavish perks.
Aloise threatened actions against the big tech companies if they don’t agree to boost payments for bus contractors whose drivers unionize. “It could mean we make the companies the problem, and not the contractors,” Aloise said, suggesting the companies “would be buying a whole lot of trouble with us.”
Sounds like maybe it’s time for the HR peeps in Silicon Valley to start looking at the bottom of their organizations, or else they may have labor strife and negative corporate branding keeping them up at night!