Tech shuttle drivers vote to unionize

Drivers for Compass Transportation, a shuttle-bus company providing commuter services for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Genentech, and other Bay Area clients, voted to join the Teamsters union Friday, union officials said this evening.

The vote was 104 in favor and 38 opposed, according to Rome Aloise, international vice president of the Teamsters Union. Aloise said that drivers stand to significantly improve their healthcare benefits and working conditions by joining the union.

Drivers will see their wages increase by anywhere from $5 to $9.50 per hour, and drivers who are currently working split shifts with no additional compensation will be able to opt out, working a single shift instead, according to the union.

Aloise said:

“Or, if they choose to work split shifts they’ll have a significant pay premium to do so. … Plus if those split shifts cause them to work over eight hours they’ll be paid time-and-a-half.”

Aloise added that the Compass Transportation’s clients are some of the richest companies in the world, and they can afford to pay their contractors a living wage:

“It’s chump change to them.”

Compass Transportation identifies itself as the “leading provider of corporate-sponsored employee commuter shuttle services” in the Bay Area, serving several Fortune 500 companies, according to the company’s website.

Genentech, a local biotech firm that contracts with Compass Transportation for commuting services, said the matter was between Compass and their employees.

Spokeswoman Lisa Slater said in an email:

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

Compass has not yet returned calls seeking comment.