For immediate release
March 13, 2018
MENLO PARK—In late February, approximately 500 food service workers at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract with Facebook’s food service contractor Flagship Facility Services.
The five-year contract includes needed economic improvements including: $4.75 per hour in raises, affordable healthcare, and a defined benefit pension plan.
“We’re glad to have negotiated this first contract; it’s a big step forward for cafeteria workers in Silicon Valley. We still have work to do, and we’re not going to stop until all the food service jobs have the job standards and security that people need to live a decent life,” said Enrique Fernandez of UNITE HERE Local 19.
Food service workers at Facebook began organizing for a union in 2017 in response to rising cost of housing and other living expenses in Silicon Valley. “This is a huge victory for me and for my family. My kids, husband and I are finally going to be able to go to the doctor,” said Alejandra Abonce, a cafeteria worker at Flagship. “Growing up, we could never take vacations. With the raises that we won, I can actually imagine taking vacation with my family and actually retiring some day.”
The contract is the latest labor victories for service workers in Silicon Valley. Cafeteria workers at Yahoo joined Local 19 in the last three months, while cafeteria workers at Nvidia made improvements in their contract including a $19/hour minimum wage. Thousands of other service workers, janitors, security officers, and shuttle drivers have unionized in recent years as part of Silicon Valley Rising, a coordinated campaign of labor, faith and community groups working to inspire the tech industry to build an inclusive middle class in Silicon Valley.
“We’re excited to see these cafeteria workers join the more than 5,000 Silicon Valley tech service workers who have organized for a better quality of life in one of the most expensive areas of the country. This victory by cafeteria workers is helping lead the way in creating a fairer and more inclusive tech economy for everyone in the region,” said Maria Noel Fernandez, Silicon Valley Rising Campaign Director.
Foodservice workers at Facebook facilities in Seattle and New York city also won the union last year and are working on negotiating first contracts in the coming months.
UNITE HERE Local 19 works to build the Tech Industry into one that provides good, sustainable jobs for all workers involved in creating and maintaining its success. It represents over 4,500 workers throughout Northern California, including cafeteria workers at Yahoo, Nvidia and Intel.