Tech shuttle driver unionization effort heats up

The Teamsters are accusing Compass Transportation representatives of threatening shuttle drivers by telling them that Apple and other tech companies will likely drop their contracts with Compass if drivers vote for unionization, USA Today reports.

The Teamsters have asked tech companies chief executives to speak up to stop what they are calling “union busting.” The workers are planning a Feb. 27 unionization vote, as Julia Love reported in the Mercury News.  Compass has contracts with Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo, Zynga as well as Amtrak.

At a mandatory employee meeting, Byron O’Connell, an executive with Compass, told drivers that the companies would likely drop their contracts with the firm, the Teamsters allege.

In a letter to company chief executives, Rome Aloise, International vice president and secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 853, asked leaders to intervene:

I call on the CEOs of Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Zynga, Genentech and Amtrak to publicly denounce the reported statement made by Mr. O’Connell to the workers and voice their support for the Compass drivers’ right to vote for a union.

A spokesperson for Genentech told USA Today that it “believes that the issue is between Compass and its drivers.” Genentech’s Lisa Slater added: 

Genentech has a long history of excellent working relationships with both union and non-union contractors, and we will fully respect whatever decision is made by the drivers.

In November, Facebook drivers, operated by Loop Transportation, voted for Teamsters representation.

The election will be overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.


Photo: Teamsters members rally outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in support of tech shuttle bus drivers who had a vote on unionization the following day. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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