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Silicon Valley’s blue-collar workers remain on edge months into pandemic

New report finds “most major tech companies” have kept paying service workers

The report found that while most major tech companies have kept their thousands of service workers for now, particularly those who are unionized, the future remains uncertain. Some companies, like Verizon, Genentech and LinkedIn, have halted contracts with their service contractors, which have, in turn, already laid people off.

According to the group’s research, about 14,000 unionized workers across Silicon Valley serve as cafeteria staffers, janitors, security officers and bus drivers, among other positions. Such jobs are a “lifeline for communities of color,” it found.

Nearly two-thirds are Black or Latino, and collectively they are estimated to earn $538 million annually, the report found. Typically, they do not work directly for tech giants but instead for one of a slew of third-party contracting companies. These workers do not have the option of working at home. They also realize that if they lose their jobs, there are far fewer jobs they can find, instead.

“There is an uncertainty for these workers — they don’t know how long that will last,” said Louise Auerhahn, the director of economic and workforce policy at Working Partnerships USA, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

Many large tech companies have continued to take in huge profits as the economy falters. Last month, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook reported combined quarterly net profits of $38 billion. LinkedIn’s parent company, Microsoft, made nearly $14 billion in profit during the third quarter of 2020.

But what is certain is that these workers have few alternatives if their jobs go away — especially work that carries benefits. A married couple featured in the report, Madeleine and Francisco Rivera, say their salaries — $26.72 and $22.60 per hour, respectively — have remained vital to their family, which supports their toddler-age son, August. Their employer, Compass Group, which provides food service to Google, pays their health insurance premiums. Read more via NBCNews

Pemo Theodore

Pemo is a Media Publisher & Event Producer. She is CoFounder/CEO Silicon Valley TV She is the Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley & organizes Bay Area FinTech meetup: Silicon Valley FinTech meetup & Blockchain Music meetup with almost 3k members. She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups 7 years. She video interviews venture capitalists & angel investors & FinTech experts. She partners with videographers to cover San Francisco Bay area startup conferences & meetups with livestreaming, video & foto packages Silicon Valley TV She is based in Silicon Valley & has been involved in online business for 14 years. She has been in small business for 46 years in Ireland, London, Canada & Australia. She also published a free ebook (the findings of 1 year research from VCs, angels & women founders) “Why are Women Funded Less than Men? a crowdsourced conversation” She was TheNextWomen‘s most prolific contributor of 2011. Silicon Valley TV has been noted as a platform for supporting high growth women led companies in Huffington Post

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