Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Google Back Away From Evil; Gives Security Guards Real Jobs

No, Labor ain't dead yet.

Lauren C. Williams at Think Progress:
Google plans to bring on hundreds of security guards as own employees in a move that could help level the tech industry’s growing income disparity woes in Silicon Valley.

Instead of using third-party contracting services, Google will hire more than 200 security guards and give them the same benefits and perks as other Google employees, including retirement benefits, health insurance and parental leave, The Wall Street Journal reported. Google will continue using current security contractor, Security Industry Specialists, Inc., as the company transitions into building its in-house security force.
The landmark move follows several wage disputes in Silicon Valley, most notably among the tech industry’s invisible workforce — the cooks, janitors and security officers who help keep the businesses humming.

Many tech companies, including Apple, use contracting companies that provide security and cleaning services that don’t pay workers enough to live in surrounding area — even though they make up a sizable chunk of the workforce. There are upwards of 3,000 security guards working in Silicon Valley who make around $14 an hour on average.

But a family of four with two working adults needs to make at self-sufficiency standard of about $19 per hour. Additionally, those low-wage service workers are predominantly people of color, with Asian or Pacific Islanders and Latinos making up almost 60 percent of the workforce and African Americans comprising another 13 percent. Only 26 percent are white.

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