Facebook drivers vote to unionize

Drivers for a transportation service contracted to shuttle Facebook employees voted Wednesday to unionize, according to a statement from the service’s CEO.

Loop Transportation CEO Jeff Leonoudakis said in a statement released today that while the company “respects” the results of the vote, the service provides its employees with “one of the best wage and benefit packages in the Bay Area.”

Drivers receive between $17 and $25 an hour, up to $714 contributed to their medical benefits and paid vacations, holidays and sick days, according to Leonoudakis. Their hourly rate can also bump up to amounts ranging from $24 to $31, he said.

In partnership with Facebook, the service also works to provide drivers with pay increases and bonuses based on their performance, the statement said:

“Even though we don’t feel that our drivers’ interests are best served by union representation, our drivers have spoken and we will now begin the negotiation process.”

The 87 drivers voted to join Teamsters Local 853, based in San Leandro, according to a statement from Teamsters officials. The drivers unionized in response to issues including low pay and a split shift schedule that means many drivers have to wait up to six hours between their morning and evening shifts.

Some drivers have to sleep in their cars between morning and evening shifts and work long days, starting at 6 a.m. and ending as late as 9:45 p.m., union officials said.

The union also staged a rally outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park yesterday, and delivered a petition calling on Facebook to stop condoning “anti-worker, anti-union behavior” by Loop Transportation, the statement said.