Apple to Hire Security Guards as Full-Time Employees as Organized Labor Gains Ground


Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apple Inc. will hire its contract security guards as full-time employees eligible for benefits, potentially creating leverage for organized labor at other Silicon Valley technology firms.

Apple is ending its contract with Security Industry Specialists to bring the security guards on board, said Ben Field of South Bay Labor Council. The story was first reported by the Mercury News.

“Apple recently completed a comprehensive, year-long review of its security program and we’ve decided to directly hire a number of key onsite security roles for Apple’s Silicon Valley operations which are currently contract positions,” Apple said in statement. “We will be hiring a large number of full-time people to handle our day-to day security needs. We hope that virtually all of these positions will be filled by employees from our current security vendor and we’re working closely with them on this process.”

Read the full story HERE.

Shuttle Drivers Overwhelmingly Vote to Join Union


Drivers who transport employees for six big Silicon Valley companies have voted overwhelmingly 104 to 38 in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif.

The 120 full and part-time drivers—employees of Compass Transportation—shuttle Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Zynga, Genentech and Amtrak workers to and from work and home.

Compass Transportation drivers are among a growing group of workers in Silicon Valley who are organizing to improve their working conditions by joining the Teamsters.

“This is another step, in addition to the Facebook drivers, for the workers who support the tech industry to move forward toward decent wages, affordable health care and a pension for the future,” said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 853. “As we continue to be contacted by drivers for other companies, we call on Apple, eBay, Zynga, Genentech, Yahoo and Amtrak to encourage their contractor to agree to the same economics that the Facebook drivers will enjoy.” Continue reading

Facebook Bus Drivers Unanimously Approve Union Contract; Here are the Terms


By Editor in Chief-Silicon Valley Business Journal

 Inc. shuttle drivers employed by bus contractor Loop Transportation voted to approve a labor contract that will give them higher pay and better working conditions, a signal moment in organized labor’s effort to unionize more contract support workers in Silicon Valley.

Eighty seven Loop drivers who are affiliated with the Teamsters voted unanimously to approve the contract, saidDoug Bloch, a political director with the Teamsters.

Under the new contract, drivers will earn between $21 and $28.50 an hour for various driving assignments. Rome Aloise, an international vice president with the Teamsters who heads the Local 853, said drivers at Loop previously were making in the range of $17 an hour. Continue reading

Wal-Mart to Give Nearly 40 Per Cent of Workers Pay Raises


By Anne d’Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer

February 19, 2015 8:36 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is spending $1 billion to make changes to how it pays and trains hourly workers as the embattled retailer tries to reshape the image that its stores offer dead-end jobs.

As part of its biggest investment in worker training and pay ever, Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that within the next six months it will give raises to about 500,000 workers, or nearly 40 percent of its 1.3 million employees. Wal-Mart follows other retailers that have boosted hourly pay recently, but because it’s the nation’s largest private employer, the impact of its move will be more closely watched. Continue reading

Palo Alto Eager to Move Ahead With Minimum Wage Law

palo alto

By Gennady Sheyner
 Palo Alto Weekly

An effort to raise Palo Alto’s minimum wage received a big lift Monday night when the City Council enthusiastically agreed to pursue the idea.

The council voted 8-0, with Liz Kniss absent, to refer to its Policy and Services Committee a proposal to establish a citywide minimum wage. Palo Alto’s new law will likely mimic similar ordinances that were adopted last year in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.

The proposal was made in a colleagues memo from councilmen Pat Burt, Marc Berman, Tom DuBois and Cory Wolbach, who argued that the change is needed because of the high cost of living in Palo Alto. California currently has a minimum wage of $9 an hour, which is set to increase to $10 an hour next year.

“Despite our general affluence, along with high costs of living and working in Palo Alto, we currently have the same minimum wage as low cost regions of California and lower minimum wages than some neighboring cities,” the memo stated.

Burt said during Monday’s brief discussion that the proposals in Palo Alto and elsewhere are based on a general notion that the Peninsula has a significantly higher cost of living than the state as a whole.

“Yet income from our present minimum wage is significantly substandard from what’s necessary for survival in this region,” Burt said.

Several members of the public, including a large contingent from the faith community, made the same point. Paul George, executive director of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, was among them. He submitted to the council a letter signed by more than 300 residents and 13 organizations.

George told the council that while California’s minimum wage is higher than the federal standard, it “still isn’t high enough.” That’s why Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose have started their own minimum wage, he said.

“We need to take this step in our town as well,” George said.

The council agreed. Councilman Greg Scharff said the city should closely look at what other cities have done and see what it can learn.

Councilman Eric Filseth also advocated moving ahead with the ordinance. The standard argument against a minimum wage, Filseth said, is that it would destroy service jobs.

“I don’t think this is likely to happen in Palo Alto,” he said. “I think we should go for it.”


School Salad Bars at the Heart of 5k Race

Print By Anne Gelhaus
San Jose Mercury News

The inaugural Heart and Soles race funded 56 salad bars at 53 schools in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Alameda counties. That’s a healthy start toward race organizers’ goal to fund 116 new school salad bars in three years. This year’s race, a family-friendly fun run that starts in Hellyer Park, is set for Feb. 7, beginning at 9 a.m.

Race participants will get a heart & Soles 5K beanie like this one.

Race participants will get a heart & Soles 5K beanie like this one.

The Heart and Soles 5K is part of a national “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” campaign, as well as a statewide program called Team California for Healthy Kids. The latter program is led by state Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson and has thus far raised $1.1 million to fund 436 salad bars in schools in California. Each salad bar costs $2,825. “School salad bars are a proven effective strategy to increase kids’ fruit and vegetable choices and help develop healthier eating habits,” states the race website. “Salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet new nutrition standards for school lunches.”

The Heart and Soles 5K is sponsored by Lam Research and produced by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the South Bay Labor Council and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The entry fee for adults is $38 and includes a race T-shirt. For a $12 entry fee kids ages 2-3 can run 30 yards; ages 4-5, a quarter mile; and ages 6-7, a half mile.  There is a $6 parking fee at Hellyer Park. Register at

Condolences for Bob Morales, Teamsters Local 350

We are saddened to report the death of Robert Morales, who passed away early on the morning of Monday, January 26th. Mr. Morales was the Director of the Solid Waste & Recycling Division for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 7, a committee member for various trusts and PACs as well as a past member of numerous boards and commissions.  His first and most treasured role was as Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Local 350. bob_morales

Services are planned for Wednesday, January 28 at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City.  Viewing will start at 4 p.m. with a rosary/service to follow at 7 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, January 29th at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 221 Valley Street, San Francisco.  A burial procession will follow to Holy Cross Cemetery, 1500 Mission Rd., Colma.

The Executive Board of the South Bay Labor Council extends heartfelt sympathy to the Morales Family.

Labor Council Endorses Orozco for D4 San Jose Council

Orozcopic#2CroppedThe delegates of the South Bay Labor Council have announced the endorsement of Tim Orozco for San Jose City Council District 4.  The special election to fill the seat left vacant when Kansen Chu was elected to the State Assembly in District 25 will be held April 7th, with a runoff, if needed, scheduled for June 23.

Orozco is a long time resident of the Berryessa neighborhood, an activist with the Democratic Party and has a long history of supporting the rights of working families.

The kick off for the Labor Council’s campaign to help elect Orozco will be Saturday, January 31 at 9 a.m.  Carpenters Local 405 will provide a hot breakfast for volunteers ready to walk precincts in support of Tim Orozco for City Council.

Contact for more information.

Trumka: Obama ‘Forcefully Advocated for Working Families’ in State of Union


Mike Hall

A statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

 ”President Obama eloquently and forcefully advocated for working families throughout his State of the Union Address,” last night,”AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka,

“The  president’s focus on raising wages through collective bargaining, better paying jobs, a fairer tax code, fair overtime rules, and expanded access to education and earned leave sent the right message at the right time.

So did his embrace of union apprentices and immigrants who want to achieve the American Dream. The president has again demonstrated his strong commitment to creating an economy that truly works for all working people.

Fighting income inequality is one of the biggest challenges of our time. As Oxfam recently reminded us, the world’s wealth continues to be increasingly concentrated in the hands of a very few. If we are serious about solving this monumental challenge, the size of the solutions must meet the scale of the problem. We must have a similarly vigorous response to the barriers to raising wages: our opposition to fast-tracked trade deals that are giant giveaways to big corporations must be resolute. We can’t face the competitive challenge of China with a trade deal that fails to adequately address currency manipulation, climate change or that gives corporations rights that people don’t have.

Now is the time for politicians to champion a Raising Wages agenda that ties all the pieces of economic and social justice together. America has now heard what the president thinks about this agenda. We thank the president for his passion and his advocacy. We are ready to see what he and Congress will do about it. That is the ultimate standard of accountability.”

What Do America’s Workers Want to Hear in President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address?

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, America’s workers will be listening closely. Will he outline plans and solutions that will boost working families’ wages, protect workers’ right to bargain collectively, defend America’s jobs from unfair trade and more? See what the workers in the video above want to hear, then tell us what you want President Obama to talk about in the State of the Union address by texting WORK to 235246.