We have another victorious example of what workers can do when they stand strong together! Just this week, advocates for security officers at Apple were planning to send a message to the tech giant with storefront actions around the state to demand they stop contracting their work out Security Industry Specialists (SIS). Before all actions could even be completed, Apple released a statement announcing that will start hiring security officers in-house and offer them full-time work with fair wages and benefits. This is an incredible win for workers and their families in Silicon Valley!
David Huerta, President of SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW) explained this incredible victory:
We welcome Apple’s decision to take responsibility for the women and men who protect its campus. This decision is a victory for Silicon Valley security officers who are rising up to fix the imbalance in our economy by securing dignified, full-time work and respect on the job. Silicon Valley is stronger when tech companies lead by expanding opportunities for janitors, security officers, bus drivers and other vital service workers
We will continue to partner with Silicon Valley employers to ensure all service workers have access to stable jobs to support their families.
Apple choosing to drop SIS could have a domino effect on the entire South Bay region. From a Silicon Valley Business Journal article quoting South Bay Labor Council Executive Officer Ben Field:
“The absence of SIS may provide leverage for more unionizations of service workers, particularly security guards, in Silicon Valley. Field said the elimination of a low-bidding contractor can reduce some of the pressure on the relatively small number of large Bay Area security contractors, and may allow those companies to be more receptive to unionization.
It's not too much of a stretch, he said, because some of those companies have unionized workforces in San Francisco and the East Bay, where the labor market is different.
“The reason we all made such a big deal about this was because SIS is and has been such a major obstacle,” he said. “The remaining contractors here in and in San Francisco and the East Bay are certainly going to be talking about next.”
This triumph for Apple security officers and the South Bay region comes on the heels of another big victory for the All-In-To-Win campaign. Less than two weeks ago Walmart, the largest employer in the country, announced increased wages for hundreds of thousands of associates. All-In-To-Win is a statewide campaign launched last year by the California Labor Federation. The goal is to use the collective strength and political power of labor in California to promote and support large-scale, strategic organizing campaigns that lift up the Labor Movement and build momentum for other organizing successes around the state.
These successes are incredible and worth celebrating! But the fight is also not over for working people in Silicon Valley. USWW is planning a rally for Tuesday March 10th at 11:30am at Citrix. Citrix is another employer who has contracted their work out to employers who continue the cycle of poverty for working families in the Silicon Valley. Join them on Tuesday to celebrate their Apple victory and encourage Citrix to choose a responsible contractor.
WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN!