"Facebook pushes to improve benefits, pay for contractors" by Barbara Ortutay Associated Press May 14, 2015
NEW YORK — Facebook is pushing for higher pay and improved benefits for the janitors, cooks, and other workers who support its employees, implementing new standards for US-based contractors who do a ‘‘substantial amount of work’’ with the largest social network.
Good news for all you graduates of Boston College, B.U., and Emerson.
Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the changes in a blog post late Tuesday. The new requirements include a minimum wage of $15 an hour, at least 15 paid days off per year, and for those who don’t get paid parental leave, a $4,000 ‘‘new child benefit.’’
The move comes amid a nationwide push to pay low-wage workers at least $15 per hour and improve benefits. In Silicon Valley, where the wealth gap can be jarring, the movement has focused on tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook.
As jarring: Homeless in Silicon Valley
Homeless told to clear out of Silicon Valley home
Crews break up homeless camp in Silicon Valley
At least you can stay on the beach.
Facebook had planned to announce the changes earlier but was delayed after the sudden death of Sandberg’s husband, David Goldberg, on May 1.
See: Boston Globe Treadmill
And here I am again.
‘‘Taking these steps is the right thing to do for our business and our community,’’ Sandberg wrote. ‘‘Women, because they comprise about two-thirds of minimum wage workers nationally, are particularly affected by wage adjustments. Research also shows that providing adequate benefits contributes to a happier and ultimately more productive workforce.’’
Facebook would not say how many workers its changes will affect, but the number is likely to be in the hundreds.
The new standards apply to Facebook’s shuttle bus drivers. But the drivers voted to unionize earlier this year and Rome Aloise, vice president for Teamsters Local 853, said the starting wage in their contracts already exceeds $15 per hour.
‘‘But I do think that Facebook is exhibiting themselves to be responsible corporate citizens,’’ he said.
At Google’s California campuses, support staff workers earns a minimum of $15 an hour, the company says. The changes went into effect April 1. Google is also pushing to increase driver pay to at least $24 per hour, with a 15 percent premium for those who work split shifts.
In March, Microsoft said it will require its US suppliers to give paid time off of at least 15 days each year to employees who do work at the company. The change will be implemented over the next year.
‘‘Facebook did the right thing in making sure that workers are paid a minimum of $15 an hour,’’ said Kendall Fells, a director of the Fight for $15 campaign. ‘‘If Facebook can raise pay to $15, so can McDonald’s.’’
That reminds me; almost time to eat.
So where do you get your news?
"Facebook Inc. chief operating officer and author Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, the high-profile entrepreneur David Goldberg, died last month in a treadmill accident while he was on vacation in Mexico. As Sandberg reached the end of sheloshim, the traditional Jewish 30-day mourning period, she turned to Facebook to share the insights she has gathered since the tragedy. “I have lived thirty years in these thirty days,” she wrote. “I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.”