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Service workers gather to voice their displeasure over layoffs and alleged union busting | News

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Service workers gather to voice their displeasure over layoffs and alleged union busting |  News

News Tech: On Thursday, August 19, about 100 service employees from several unions met to protest on the Meta campus in support of responsible contracting amid service worker layoffs.

Workers wanted fair contracts with job security and the freedom to organise from Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and its subcontractor, Canon Business. Protesters criticised Meta’s recent and upcoming layoffs and alleged that Canon Business had opposed workers’ attempts to form a union.

Representatives of numerous union organisations met on the corner of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway, across the street from Meta’s headquarters, and were led in chants in both English and Spanish. In order to advocate for the rights of workers considered necessary in a post-pandemic environment, the demonstration included cafeteria staff, janitors, shuttle drivers, and others.

“Over the last several years, and let’s be true about this, forever, tech has been thriving on the backs of all of us,” said Maria Noel Fernandez, campaign director of Silicon Valley Rising.

In a statement, Meta’s representative Tracy Clayton expressed the company’s support for unions.

“Meta has a demonstrated history of supporting Unions and their members. We fully recognize the right of employees to organize and encourage vendors to continue to work collaboratively,” Clayton said in the statement. “Many of our vendors’ employees are represented by organized labor. We’re proud that we’ve partnered with vendors to create and maintain thousands of good-paying, union jobs with industry-leading compensation packages and will continue to do so.” One of the speakers at the protest was Teresa Barrios, a cleaner at Meta for 10 years. She claimed to be the sole provider for her family and commute from Modesto to work over two hours each way. She pleaded with Meta to pay attention to its employees because many of them were facing layoffs and needed Meta’s help to support others in their life.

Olga Miranda, a labour organiser with SEIU local 87 who represents janitors, highlighted that she thinks the layoffs undermine other messages Meta has made. She claimed that the company’s essential employees weren’t getting the benefits they actually required. “If you’re willing to spend this much on a PR campaign that says Black Lives Matter, don’t choke my family by saying there is nothing left for you … Don’t call me essential, don’t give me a … pizza, don’t give me a goddamn certificate. Pay me what I’m worth.”

Miranda noted that Meta had increased campus security in advance of the demonstration. Employees may band together and fight for appropriate pay, retirement benefits, and health insurance to sustain themselves and their families, as well as against “poverty” employment that devastate communities, according to Jason Rabinowitz, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7.

“There shouldn’t be a single worker on that campus that doesn’t have fair pay, the right to a job protection, retirement with dignity, and medical care for their family,” Rabinowitz said.

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