Protesters storm Apple campus urging better working conditions for service workers

“As rain pummeled the Bay Area, a group of protesters stormed Apple’s campus Thursday, calling for the tech giant to help the service workers who keep its campus humming make a better living,” Julia Love reports for The Mercury News. “Rallied by United Service Workers West and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, more than 100 people gathered at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters to draw attention to the valley’s broad use of contract workers, who carry out many tasks on corporate campuses but often make a fraction of what tech workers do. During a brief but lively demonstration, protesters dressed in plastic purple ponchos milled outside in the rain, breaking out frequently into call-and-response chants.”

“The energy in the crowd mounted when Jackson arrived, directing the demonstrators to repeat after him word for word: ‘We marvel at the growth of high tech and biotech, but we are the foundation,'” Love reports. “After Jackson left for the airport, the protesters marched into an Apple building to deliver a petition, signed by 20,000 people, which calls for the company to lead a charge for better working conditions for service workers in the Silicon Valley. Emboldened, the protesters crowded the lobby chanting ‘Sí se puede’ (‘Yes, we can’) and waved a sign reading, ‘Apple dodges taxes, we pay the price,’ as Apple employees peered down on the scene from upper floors. After a few minutes, a screeching alarm ushered the protesters back out in the rain.”

“United Service Workers West spokesman Alfredo Fletes said the crowd included unionized security guards from San Francisco, fast-food workers and members of other unions,” Love reports. “Art Pulaski, executive treasurer and secretary of the California Labor Federation, told the crowd that union members across the state stood with them in the fight.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Union, Jesse Jackson push for better conditions for security guards on Apple campus – November 26, 2014

75 Comments

  1. “Sí se puede.” Perhaps if you spoke the language of business, you’d have better paying jobs?

    “YES WE CAN” mop the floors and expect to get paid like people who’ve taken out loans to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their educations and spent 6+ years studying in higher education to achieve masters degrees or PhDs, but that would make us idiots which, of course, is why we’re standing out in the rain chanting for someone to reward us for doing menial labor.

      1. I live in the real world. I’m not a fscking pie-in-the-sky, touchy-feeling Democrat dreaming of utopia at the hands of a community organizer and a bunch of government cubicle dwellers.

        Your defeatist attitude, your blind and weak acceptance that good paying jobs for good educations is now somehow unachievable, your victim mentality is pitiful – a Democrat mindset that perpetuates failure. This is why the Democrat party has been “helping” blacks to stay stuck in poverty, subsisting on government handouts for 50+ years and counting. Dumbed down to the point where they keep voting for their own slavery.

        1. Buy, hey, at least the Democrats give the takers free abortions so they can do as they please, moral-free, on the backs of the makers. Of course, the white fat-cat Democrats refer to abortions as “black genocide” with self-satisfied smirks behind closed doors with scotch in hand, but their lockstep army of slaves is always there for them, 95% or more. Pitiful is right.

          Wake up Brothers and Sisters!

          1. Black Lives Matter? 78% of Abortions in New York City Were Done on Black, Hispanic Babies

            In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

            The report is entitled, Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes, and was prepared by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics.

            There were 6,570 more abortions than live births of black children. In total, there were 73,815 abortions, which means the 31,328 black babies aborted comprised 42.4% of the total abortions.

            Blacks and Hispanics should wake up. There is no free lunch. There is no definitely no escape from murdering your own children for convenience. The Democrat party is the #1 reason why minorities in the U.S in general, are so downtrodden and their cultures are so sick and full of hopelessness.

            Democrat: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day and lock up his vote for a lifetime.

            Republican: Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

            1. “Republicans: Throw a man in the water, with an anchor of the systemic oppression you’ve maintained tied around his ankle, and then criticize him for how poorly he swims.”

              There, FTFY.

          1. Who said that? Nobody but you.

            Like I did say: “Your victim mentality is pitiful.”

            I pray to God that someday pawns and suckers like you wake up.

            1. God is not going to help you, Fwhatever. And failing to agree with your every utterance is not a crime, however much you would like it to be.

              In your mind, the world appears to be binary in which “right” equals the Republican Party and you, while “wrong” equals the Democratic Party and anyone who disagrees with you. It does not work that way.

              There is a lot of bullcrap on both sides of the political spectrum, and your slavish promotion and defense of everything Republican and you unceasing castigation of everything “not Republican” is a mental crutch that enables you to avoid the true complexities of life.

              You appear to enjoy preaching from the bully pulpit, but your sounds have no real value to many of us. This society deserves much better than your incessant “us versus them” attitude.

        2. Your higher ed obviously did not include the following subjects:

          Spelling; It is Democratic- not Democrat (in the USA). One is a Democrat asa member of the Democratic Party.
          Logic; self explanatory if you buy into the fantasy of Saint Reagan and Ayn Rand who died dependent upon Social Security and Medicare.
          Economics: Stats show the markets, the budget and the economic status of the average American are better under Democratic Administrations.
          History: Although the history of the Democratic Party has plenty to be ashamed for, it has long since moved on. The Republican Party has abandoned it’s historic position to embrace the conservative racists that left the Democratic Party when the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were enacted.

          1. Mostly I would agree: but there are a few statements that aren’t accurate. Neither Reagan nor Ayn Rand were dependent upon Social Security (and I remind conservatives/liberals too that Social Security is not an entitlement, we’ve all paid into it our entire working lives). Both were wealthy, and did not depend upon it, but I have nothing against people who have paid into it getting back something of what they put in.

            Don’t forget that not only has the republican party embraced conservative racists, but insane religionists who think this country should follow their interpretation of a much-interpreted book and impose it on the rest of us.

            1. Ayn Rand died drawing Social Security and on Medicare. That would make her a taker by her own definition.

              Saint Reagan will go down in history as a marginal to poor president. Marginal Actor, poor Union President, poor Governor, marginal President.

            2. I knew Ronald Reagan personally and he was none of those things except perhaps a marginal actor. He will be rated as one of America’s best Presidents. Sorry you are a blind partisan.

          2. I read you spout facts, but none provided.

            For staters: Would love to see your so called facts that Americans fare better under Obama than Reagan.

            If your definition of faring better is historic highs of more people in poverty or receiving government checks, that’s NOT faring better.

            Hope, NOPE! Change, YES.

            1. Never said Obama or Reagan. I said Democratic versus Republican Administration.
              The stats show more economic growth, more job creation, more income growth, more first time college grads, more first time home buyers and many other signs of economic advancement.

              I am not a fan of or an apologist for Obama. Didn’t vote for him as I see him as a Republican Lite DINO.

            2. More first time home buyers based on faulty subprime loans that should have never been extended to people incapable of repaying the loans due to pressure from the Clinton administration which decimated the economy and led, inexplicably, to McCain immediately dropping below Obama in the polls, so that the country ended up dooming itself to more, even worse Democrat stupidity for 8 more wasted, lost years.

            3. Sorry, absent concrete stats from reliable sources I do not believe citizens are better off under Democrat rule. I have heard that generalization before but nothing credible or concrete to convince me it is true.

              The country is worse off than it has ever been under the latest Democrat administration.

              Case closed.

          3. Ayn Rand did NOT “die dependent on Social Security and Medicare.” A social worker in her attorney’s office enrolled her in 1976 to the programs. However at her death she left a substantial estate, including the copyrights to her books and writings, some of which have never been out of print and have been producing royalties since their original publication. Your Logic is completely flawed. You are promulgating a myth.

            Spelling. You are being pedantic. Democrat party is a time honored epithet for the Democratic Party that the opposition has used in a friendly fashion, especially with the lower case ‘p’ in party. . . and many Democrats have also used it for wings of the party . . including the Democrat Bourbons, Southern Democrats, New Democrats, etc.

            Your claims that Republicans are racist is deplorable and without foundation in fact.

            1. Social Security is the biggest ponzi scheme ever perpetrated on the American people until Obamacare. It is a HUGE drain on the economy. Imagine what you could do with the money they TAKE from you with proper, sound investments. What a waste. More Democrat party stupidity that hurts everyone.

        3. First-Then, H2a is correct. That does not mean those with college degrees cannot get good jobs. That’s not how I understood what he said. But if you look around at the enormous numbers of unemployed/underpaid college grads, and then compare wages for electricians, plumbers, and the like, you’ll see that things really have changed today. Your hangup on assigning political blame has nothing to do with this. These are just the facts of today. I personally know many examples of what H2 is saying but I also know the general stats. I know something about education in general.

      2. Yeah, it seems that higher ed isn’t what it used to be since the federal government stepped in. Student debt is through the roof and underemployment is rampant. You can thank politicians in Washington who insist on making government bigger (usually from one side of the aisle) for that problem.

        However, if you pursued an engineering degree, like most of those who are making Apple succeed, you can probably find a good job.

        Broom-pushers claiming that they are the foundation of high tech growth is utterly ridiculous. But that doesn’t stop the unscrupulous Jesse Jackson from making such a claim.

          1. Off topic and not the point. Nobody is criticizing the GI Bill. We’re criticizing this and this:

            Almost one in four Americans between the ages of 25-54 (prime working years) is not working.

            There are 124.5 million Americans in their prime working years (ages 25-54). Nearly one-quarter of this group — 28.9 million people or 23.2 percent of the total — is not employed. They either became so discouraged that they left the labor force entirely, or they are in the labor force but unemployed. This group of non-employed individuals is more than 3.5 million larger than before the recession began in 2007.

            An estimated 75 percent of the jobs created during Obama presidency have been either part-time or low-paying with little benefits. Millions of middle-class Americans will not be able to buy a house or put their children through college.

            1. Your response was off topic. The G.I. Bill isn’t an example of the federal government taking over education; the Dept. of Education is. The G.I. Bill was created 35 years before the Dept. of Education was established.
              Today, everybody has to turn over all of their information to the federal government before a college will tell you what you are going to pay. Then, the federal government will loan you all the money you want regardless of your ability to pay it back.
              Want to pay $100,000 for a worthless degree in women’s studies? No problem. the federal government is there for you. Sadly, many young Americans are doing exactly that. But the reality is that they ultimately hold responsibility for their choices.

            2. The stats you provided clearly show an epic failure of the current administration and the Democrat party to create jobs.

              All they know and what they do is mouth the words “good paying jobs” over and over and do nothing.

              I misspoke, they have changed the job market the last six years. More people out of work and more low paying jobs.

              Jesse has it ALL WRONG. He should be picketing the White House and Democrat headquarters to get us out of the mess they had a hand in creating.

  2. So what they are after is high tech pay with little to no education? Am I getting this straight? These Bozos are D students looking to ride the coat tails of educated A players? I’ve got some advice…… Go get yourselves educated. Just Un Fkin’ BELIEVABLE!! FU Jackson!! Whore!

    1. You wanna open a racial can O worms?! Do a demographic breakout of those 100 “HUMAN BEINGS”. Jesse AssHat Jackson… you are the epitome of reverse discrimination. The pinnacle bottom dweller of earthly SCUMBAGS!!

      1. You are going to get down-voted by those who voted for Obama out of naivete, white guilt, temporary insanity or whatever, but won’t admit publicly that they helped to fsck the U.S. for eight long, wasted years, if they can even admit it to themselves.

        The reason you can’t get a job, whiners, is because you put a bunch of millionaire Democrats in charge of creating a failed nanny state. The only way Democrats know how to bring down the unemployment rate is to force people to give up and exit the workforce, pumping food stamp recipients to obscene levels.

        Better to put millionaire Republicans in charge for at least they believe in creating the atmosphere where those who work hard can move up in the world, like real Americans used to understand.

        Romney would have been FAR, FAR better for this country and he’s far down the list of true Republicans for most of us in the GOP.

        1. Do you even understand what you are talking. Republicans more than doubled debt on US. Unemployment rate also increased while republicans were running the country. The above demonstration outside Apple has nothing to do with republicans or democrats. However, by seeing this comment section one thing can be said for sure – both sides have equal number of idiots.

          1. You lie.

            I present the facts:

            G.W. Bush’s 1st day in office: 01/20/2001
            Total U.S. Debt: $5,727,776,738,304.64

            G.W. Bush’s last day in office: 01/20/2009
            Total U.S. Debt: $10,626,877,048,913.08

            Increase over 8 years: $4.899 trillion

            Under Obama Today: 12/12/2014
            Total U.S. Debt: $17,985,409,515,198.76

            Increase over 5 years, 10 months, 23 days: $7.359 trillion and counting

            11,472,000 Americans Have Left The Workforce Under Obama. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). The participation rate in the U.S. labor force has fallen to 62.7% — its lowest level since early 1978 (Carter administration, yet another Democrat failure).

            1. You can’t handle the truth, believe that!

              Oh great patriots of the right, tell me again, why any group of AMERICANS organizing and protesting ANYTHING is met with derision from your “side”, unless it is at an abortion clinic?

              Tell me again why the constitutional right to assemble and speak harms AMERICA. Tell me how, at the same time, your favorite politicians (As if it were a team sport idiots) get a free pass on letting corporations write our freaking laws. ALEC anyone?

              Go back to your propaganda programming on Fox, go listen to a bunch of like minded idiots reinforce your twisted view, affirming that you know something that seemingly escapes the other half of America. Enjoy your sucking of the corporate teet and stop posting your shite here you daft bastards.

            2. Truth? Liberals don’t tell the truth. No propagandists on the left, Mr. MSNBC, hmm?

              Anyway, you are off topic. F2T2 spoke the TRUTH backed up by facts. I don’t read anywhere where you or Derek DISPUTE one atomic particle.

              Instead, the same old, same old. Dance around it and change the subject with off topic accusations. So very typical of the clueless left for all to see.

              Bottom line: You can’t handle the truth, Truth.

            3. Oh look, the other half of the matching pair of PROPAGANDISTS here at MDN. *yawn*

              Get a new nick. You’ve wore out this anonymous coward nick. I see it and think ‘Oh, the crooked government enabler again. What an ass.’

            4. We also had 9/11 during that time and two successful wars fought against terrorism in defense of our country. . . which successes were thrown away by the Obama and the Democrats’ administration as soon as they could.

              On the other hand, George W. Bush did not do much to keep spending under control.

            5. Two successful wars…what is your definition of success, Swordmaker?

              Did you make it to the seventh grade and declare, “Mission Accomplished!”?

              Obama supported the military surge. The wars continued for years longer. Just how did Obama “throw away” these “successes.” Statements like yours truly make me question if this forum has hit rock bottom on the stupidity scale.

            6. Announcing you’re pulling out on a timetable is akin to telling the enemy, “just wait us out, you can take over on such and such a date” – which ISIS a promptly did. Obama has no foreign policy. It’s a cluster fsck of ineptitude from Egypt to Russia to Syria to Iran to Israel, etc. H. Clinton is also responsible and she seems to want to continue to lead the free world down the sewer with her utter incompetence. What a joke.

            7. George W. bush never declared “Mission Accomplished. Contrary to the Liberal mythos. That was a banner put up by the Captain of the aircraft carrier to his crew as they were returning to port, a banner that had been used before at the end of long tours. It just so happened that George Bush greeted those same navy crewmen under that banner. . . But he also said it was the beginning of a long campaign that would contnue for others.

              Obama threw them away by telegraphing withdrawals. And then withdrew. He withdrew without negotiating sustaining agreements in Iraq. Actions like his assure me that our foreign policy and his military expertise has hit the bottom of the barrel on the stupidity scale.

              As for my grade level, I’ve degrees in Finance and Economics. You are the one who immediately went to ad hominem. . . the refuge of the debater without facts.

    1. Yeah it’s that easy! You go to college, rack up 100 thousand or more dollars in student loan debt, and the magical job fairy just hands out high paying jobs to everyone with $500/month loan payments from higher ed!

          1. You are right, it is better to spend hundreds of thousands on some sheep-skin so you can wedge into a cube at a corporate HQ. for 25K. There you can be marginalized by some know-nothing shit MBA who got his job because his uncle is on the board. But hey, at least you aren’t the janitor. Watch said MBA take credit for your work, while at the same time demanding more. Finally gain the courage to quit since you are powerless to change the situation and find yourself black-balled everywhere you go because of the negative HR spin from the previous employer thanks to the MBA scum.

            Yeah, organized labor is evil, working men and women shouldn’t have the right to organize and demand dignity and fair treatment at work. I mean really why should they have any say in their lives, can’t we just bring back slavery already?

            Clearly it is better to just shut-up and take whatever scraps the corporations toss your way. After all corporations have shareholders and rule number one is they come first, then the CEO, sooner or later something will trickle down his leg, make sure you are in attendance to catch the trickle before it’s gone, don’t take any time off or you might miss it.

            Isn’t it fun to generalize you daft twat?

            1. Wow, did I hit a nerve Dick?

              Hey dumb ass, we have laws now that protect workers and their rights. We don’t need gangs with bats and molotov cocktails fighting or looting in the street now. Oh wait, that’s still going on but…….get your union organization help stop that for a change.

              Oh, slavery? Bring it backI? WTF….are you not paying attention, it never left it just changed and the “fat cats” get the government to pay them for the owners. This way all of society pays taxes to pay the “slaves”, no matter what their color.

              Sorry but the Unions today do nothing for the good hard workers but sure as hell keep bad works from losing their jobs and that’s a fact Jack!

      1. If you went $100,000 into debt and didn’t get a marketable degree, it’s your fault. Sadly, a lot of young people have fallen into this trap created by the federal government.
        I have seen actual accounts of people getting degrees with no debt. Yeah, it sucks. They live at home and go to a community college and they miss the frat parties. But they graduate without that boat anchor around their necks.

  3. Apple contracts for certain services. When they do that, they don’t have to manage the $10/hr workforce. No training for compliance with approved sanitation processes or food safety. No progression plans for the food prep staff, no 401K, no health benefit packages or continuing education reimbursement plans for those workers. Apple avoids all of the workforce diversity that comes with having that level of workers and skills on the payroll. And it gains the freedom from concern about those functions being accomplished. It’s like renting a car. If it stops functioning, you call the rental company and they send a different one out.

    But, the contract worker and contracted services model is a race to the bottom for the more humble members of the work force. Do the service companies that are hired have benefit packages? Do they offer training? The answer is probably “no”. And we benefit from that. The absence of those costs lets us buy Apple products (marginally) less expensively. So we stand on their shoulders. How proud does that make us?

    Or should we even think about it? Every company does this. Even, so it seems, the most valuable company in history. The key is, this approach is climbing the ladder. Microsoft was famous for hiring contract programmers and having them on staff for years without ever actually hiring them. So it’s not just the least educated or skilled among the workforce who may be subject to the abuses of contract work. It could be you next.

  4. Cook meets with Jackson and gets a protest for his time.. nice..

    Its up to people to improve themselves, it does not have to cost thousands to do it. But it does take time and effort. They have to want something better, If they merely are going to perpetually take the handouts, when it collapses (and it will) they’ll be the first to reap the consequences when it does..

    Jesse Jackson is nothing more than an instigator.. preying on others and taking their contributions and giving them lip services with little else in return. Just like Obama… all talk, no action..

  5. Meanwhile, On Topic:

    If The Reverend Jackson (rolls eyes) has a problem with CONTRACTORS, then he should lead his protests at their offices- not Apple’s.

    Maybe shakedown Jesse is just trying to get a new MacBook Pro for free. It would be for his Love Child, of course.

  6. Education is part of the answer for sure, but in the real world, people are paid less than or equal to what they are worth. In other words, If you get paid more than you are worth, the one paying you loses money on you. That is they way it works. When it doesn’t work, employers go out of business, leaving unemployed people behind.

  7. I think I will empty my own trash, and vacuum and and dust my own office. How do you like them Apples?

    Do you think Apple will pay more so a sub contractor can bring the night crew at a higher rate? The mechanism isn’t there to make it work. Apple will pay the going rate for contract work. Typically the going rate is what a cleaning contractor is able to bring workers in for.

    As long as there is a line of workers, out the door, wages will remain low. The only way to rase wages in this situation his to pass a higher minimum wage or living wage law, where everyone will be forced to pay this rate. But it’s a chain reaction because as soon as the bottom line goes up, prices at the register goes up, property taxes go up.

    It’s a self defeating request.

    1. Sorry, every time the minimum wage is raised, minimum wage workers lose jobs. Why? Because their jobs become economically non-viable. I am educated as an economist and this is easy to figure. At a certain point a job is economic to fill at a certain wage with a person at a set value per hour, above that it is not. When the minimum wage goes above that, the employer lays off that minimum wage person, and assigns that task to an employee he already has and gives them a small raise for the additional work and/or increases their hours. Either way the minimum wage worker is out of work. This is shown in statistic every single time the minimum wage is increased and many of those lowest end jobs never come back.

      McDonalds is experimenting with having customers enter their orders into a kiosk instead of telling a living minimum wage clerk what they want for lunch or breakfast. . . good by jobs. Will they need hamburger flippers if a robot can flip hamburgers, plop it onto a bun with a dollop of ketchup and mustard with a pickle, a slice of cheese, wrap it up and put it in a bag with an order of hot French Fries as well or better than a high school dropout? All without picking its nose and is always on time? I leave it to you to answer that question. When the problems and costs of employing the high school drop out are more than oiling the robot and the benefits no longer out weigh the problems. . . management will be installing robots.

  8. the lack of, or the wrong education is only part of the problem. the protesters are in silicon valley, only because it has a viable economy (built on innovation and private financial risk). they are not up the road in oakland protesting for pay equality. actually it is not pay equality at all, if you look under jesse jackson’s skirt, it’s about unionizing the contract workers and creating a combative employment relationship like there is in grocery stores and auto factories.

    the US is looking more and more like france and spain every day. the problem there and the one becoming a problem here is the nation does not create enough middle class jobs to meet the demographics of an aging workforce that works longer because of lack of retirement capital built up over their years of employment, and young people trying to enter the workforce. taking the immigrant works out of the closet only exacerbates this. the job demand portion of this equation is relentless and cannot be fixed in the short term.

    the job creation portion of the equation complex. too long to comment here, but to say that the tax and environmental policies that drive US companies to offshore their middle-class paying work tilts the job generation engine in the wrong direction.

    while i certainly don’t advocate a “managed” economy (communism), i do wish the US had some adult supervision at the top. what we have today is an idealist playing in the sandbox. that’s what’s wrong with intellectuals like gruber and obama. they are smarter than they are wise.

    1. If Obama and Gruber actually were smart, then they’d realize that their actions are unwise.

      Oblahblah is an empty suit. Let’s see his college transcripts to see how “smart” he really is, not how “smart” the left-wing media were always so fond of proclaiming him to be.

  9. but often make a fraction of what tech workers do.

    Which is NEVER going to change. Qualify as a tech worker and problem gone!

    ‘We marvel at the growth of high tech and biotech, but we are the foundation,’

    NO, you’re not. You’re service workers. Your qualifications in tech and biotech are… WHAT?!

    I was a service working from age 15 – 18. I was a busboy. I worked every week, at night. Done that. THEN I got a college education and two graduate degrees beyond that. I qualify as a tech/biotech worker. That means I make more money than I did as a busboy. That will never change.

    …deliver a petition, signed by 20,000 people, which calls for the company to lead a charge for better working conditions for service workers in the Silicon Valley.

    Working conditions is an ENTIRELY different subject from fair wages. Let’s see the details please.

    ‘Apple dodges taxes, we pay the price’

    Total disconnect! Apple pays ALL required taxes in ALL countries. If you mean that Apple doesn’t bring foreign made profits into the USA, that’s the fact! Why is that the fact? It is specifically because the USA has a highly REGRESSIVE tax on foreign made profits.

    US government taxes GOUGES foreign made corporate profits, We ALL pay the price. Talk to your government representatives! Make it stop!

    Meanwhile, STOP pretending that going Loon-Level-Liberal ever solved anything important. All it ever did was morph immediately into totalitarianism and crime. Read the history books if you don’t agree. You’ll agree.

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