POLITICO Morning Tech: Airing tech labor grievances: Rep. Ro Khanna is meeting with some of the workers helping fuel tech giants’ success to explore labor issues.

by Alexandra S. Levine
July 2, 2019

RELATED: KHANNA, CONTRACTORS AIR TECH LABOR COMPLAINTS — Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) today will co-host a roundtable discussion on how Silicon Valley firms treat contract and service workers. Invited speakers for the session, slated to take place this afternoon in Santa Clara, Calif., include workers from “food, security and janitorial services,” plus “bus drivers, local labor unions” and representatives from industry heavyweights like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter, according to a release. “The technology revolution is made up of far more than coders and CEOs,” Khanna told MT in a statement. “Contract workers hold companies together, keeping innovation running smoothly amidst the level of unprecedented growth in Silicon Valley.”

— What they’re asking for: “We’re calling on high-tech companies to adopt a model-contractor standard ... that not only calls on tech companies to provide a living wage and basic benefits but also creates a mechanism that allows workers to enforce that commitment,” said Ben Field, executive officer at the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, which is co-hosting the session. Field said one tech giant, Facebook, “took a step in the right direction” in May by announcing it was raising wages for its contract workers in the U.S. But he expressed concern that there’s currently “no enforcement mechanism” for workers to make sure the company upholds its pledge.