Bus drivers for Apple, others demand $27.50 an hour, new pension plan

”Five months after unionizing, 75 bus drivers voted Saturday for a proposal that would increase their wages to $27.50 and provide them with new benefits,” Sara Ashley O’Brien reports for CNN. “These drivers are all employed by a firm called Compass Transportation, which services seven companies: Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga, Genentech, Amtrak and Evernote. They’re represented by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, California.”

“According to Rome Aloise, international vice president at Teamsters, the pay increase is significant bump from the $17 to $21 an hour they’re currently making,” O’Brien reports. “The contract also addresses drivers’ scheduling concerns: split shifts (drivers who work several hours in the morning and return to the depot for several unpaid hours before working an evening shift), as well as calls for employer contributions to a defined pension plan.”

“Now, each of the companies must sign off on it. If approved, over 160 drivers will see a wage increase,” O’Brien reports. “In San Francisco, the buses used by major tech firms are a reminder of the area’s inequality. Tech’s high-paid workers are driving up rents, while working class tenants are pushed further out of the city as they struggle to afford the skyrocketing rents.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why doesn’t Apple just pay Compass enough to pay these bus drivers what Apple pays their MIT-educated engineers? A couple hundred grand per year to start with full medical, dental, neonatal, extended parental leave, child care services, donation-matching, of course, and plenty of restricted stock units, etc. would keep them driving those buses. Then the bus drivers would be able to afford very nice digs virtually anywhere in San Francisco. After all, Apple is such a rich company, it’s not like they can’t afford it.

(Dripping sarcasm like Niagara Falls drips water.)


    1. Yeah, well some of them take up to two weeks to get trained to drive a bus and after all, all the other buss drivers make that much (don’t they?)

    2. I’m not so sure. After all, it seems pretty comparable with the situation over here in the UK, where London underground ‘drivers’ (they actually just have to open and close the doors and give announcements most of the time) get about £50K per year. You know, roughtly £15K more than a maths teacher. Which is weird when you think about it, because we’re really short of maths teachers for some reason, but people are queuing up to drive those Tube trains. I’m starting to wonder if I misunderstood all those supply-demand curves I saw in economics all those years ago. Or maybe they were just missing a ‘union’ z-axis . . . ?

    3. First you must define ‘living wage’ (there is no such thing).
      THEN you must set what that ‘fair’ amount (then is no such way)
      Then EVERYBODY will be equal! (there is no such place).

      But, just for spits and wiggles, why not $70k?
      I hear that is all the ‘wage’ in some circles…

  1. Compass should make sure they have a monopoly on bus services lest a leaner company arise that can provide the same services for less by paying bus drivers bus drivers’ wages.

    Of course, the bottom line will be that Compass’ bus drivers will then have negotiated themselves an hourly rate of $0 – wait, scratch that – lengthy unemployment benefits paid for by the California taxpayers who, as we know, hardly pay any taxes at all. 😉

    Of course, this assumes every one of these bus drivers is a U.S. citizen and is therefore qualified to suck off the taxpayers’ teat, but, of course nobody will actually bother or be required to check that because that would be “racist.”

    So, then everyone will have learned a valuable lesson about how free markets work… Of course, that assumes (wrongly) that the Democrat California legislators won’t step in at the behest of their union overlords who funded said Democrats’ election campaigns to “protect” these union jobs from these new “evil” non-unionized companies who insist on “underpaying” bus drivers less than $57,200 per year with pensions.

    In a working free market, these bus drivers, if they got too greedy, would price themselves out of the market and the market would naturally find the proper wage for a bus driver. The only problem I have with any of this is the last part – not the unionization or the demands, but where the union-backed Democrat politicians step in to block the new non-unionized competitors from competing against Compass and their exorbitant rates (due to their poor negotiations with the union). If you think that would never happen, you haven’t been paying enough attention.

      1. News headline six months from now…

        “Reuters – On Capitol Hill today the AFL-CIO policy chief praised the U.S. Department of Transportation’s and the Interstate Commerce Commission’s joint decision to ban Uber from interstate transit effectively shutting the company down in the United States. The decision follows a congressional investigation into Uber’s business model which found that the company unfairly targeted Teamsters union members in several states. After key states such as California and New York banned Uber from operating in their states earlier this year, the other 48 states soon followed suit effectively shutting Uber down as a competitor to established unionized taxi services.

        Also today, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick was arrested by the FBI on federal corruption charges of ‘conspiring to undermine established legitimate unionized businesses’ as well as alleged tax evasion.

        An Uber company spokesman could not be reached for comment after the telephone lines at their San Francisco headquarters had been ordered disconnected by the FBI.”

        Anyone think this couldn’t happen?

        1. Please note that I am not in favor of shutting down new transportation options, such as Uber. The politicians (Democrat and Republican) often go overboard to buy votes and protect various groups within their districts. That is why our government is so inefficient.

          But jumping on every union story as archetypical of “bad” unions is ridiculous. Please consider that companies that treat their employees well (e.g., Costco) enjoy a productive and loyal workforce with less churn, ultimately yielding a healthier company and better profits.

    1. You tout the free market al of the time, Fwhatever. So, let the free market take care of itself. If unions go overboard, then the market should take care of it. If businesses go overboard, then people organize unions to battle the exploitation. Of course, your free market leans very heavily towards the business sector always being right. Businesses will do the right thing without any regulation, never pollute or dump stuff into the water system, and would never take advantage of workers.

      You bellyache about unions all of the time, Fwhatever. But they exist because businesses routinely screwed people over for profits to the extremes of locking them into buildings (which burned and killed them) to creating dangerous work environments that maimed people, at which time they were tossed out to fend for themselves.

      Contrary to your belief, the absolute lowest wage is not in the best interest of business or society. Maximizing profit in the short term is often bad in the long term. The only people who question and disparage the idea of a living wage are people who have not had to dwell in poverty. Supply and demand is not everything.

      1. Which part of the following didn’t you understand?

        “The only problem I have with any of this is the last part – not the unionization or the demands, but where the union-backed Democrat politicians step in to block the new non-unionized competitors from competing against Compass and their exorbitant rates (due to their poor negotiations with the union). If you think that would never happen, you haven’t been paying enough attention.”

    1. Sounds like a bad answer for the retard bus drivers. What do they do then? Go work at McDonald’s or, more likely, just go on permanent disability like the rest of Obama’s America?

      To keep the sarcasm theme going: What we really need are millions more unskilled illegal aliens. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    2. You beat me to it. At $8 and hour you saw parking cashiers at every garage. With the minimum wage going to $15 soon, you won’t see that anymore. Same with bus drivers.

  2. I see all the righties including MDN are upset that this goes against their corporate overlords race to the bottom for American workers. $27.50 an hour comes out to $57,200 a year before taxes. That’s not very much considering the price of living in that area

        1. God Bless You, Jubei! I’ve been waiting for someone to reveal the simplest answer of all, and you just provided it!
          JUST MOVE!
          Friends of mine were arguing about the plight of the poor, poor Americans living in squalor, sucking off the government, just to get by, until one of them had the answer!
          Why don’t they just move!!! It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity!
          How no one ever thought of that before, is beyond me. They must be liberals.

          1. How reasonable, leave the community you live in because the landlords wanna charge higher rent to the employees of the new business in town. How American. How Moral of you.

            Why is Republitards don’t do the same? You gerrymander every district you can, why not just encourage your people to move? Why don’t you neocon fucktards all go live together, you can have Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Arizona, Kansas and Florida. Leave the rest of us alone.

            1. And the same goes to all those poor Africans.
              “Boo Hoo. I’m starving to death and my baby sleeps in its own feces.”
              THEN MOVE!
              They should just do what First 2014 (GOD BLESS HIM) recommends. GET A JOB! If you don’t make enough, get a better one. Or two. Or three, but we hard working, superior, true, Americans should not have to listen to the cries of a starving child. We are better than that.
              GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!

            2. We can’t leave you libtards alone because you’re breaking every damn thing you try to fix. You think you’re a damn might smarter than everyone else and you’re not. The simplest answer is to move to a place that can support your family. sometimes that’s just the way it is. businesses charge what the market can bear–nothing immoral about that. a family that can’t pay the rent is stealing from the person who owns the unit! Your sense of morality is highly skewed.

        2. Moving isn’t easy, but it isn’t really that hard either when you are young. My two parents left a dust bowl ravaged Oklahoma to come to Southern California. Left their parents and the rest of their friends and family to find better opportunity. And they did.

    1. These drivers are not Apple’s employees. Apple contracts “Compass Transportation” to provide bus service. I’m sure they went through some type of bidding process, and Compass was selected (over other bus companies) because it offered the best deal for Apple. It’s up to Compass to live up to its end o the deal, and pay the bus drivers. If Compass can pay drivers, $27.50/hr and be profitable, Compass (not Apple) can make that call.

  3. “In San Francisco, the buses used by major tech firms are a reminder of the area’s inequality. Tech’s high-paid workers are driving up rents, while working class tenants are pushed further out of the city as they struggle to afford the skyrocketing rents.”

    What’s weird about this is that the buses are taking people from where they live in San Francisco to where they work in Cupertino (Mountain View, and Menlo Park). It’s a reverse city->suburb commute.

  4. only about 10% of the water actually goes over niagara falls, the rest is used to generate electricity. so, even though it is a lot of water. proportionately it is just a drip after all. if they let all the water go over the falls lake erie would be in danger of emptying into lake ontario. that would be something to see.

  5. Apple should just cancel the bus (limo) services and let their $150K per year engineers spend a couple of hours a day driving themselves to work and finding a place to park the cars they’ll be bringing with them. That should help productivity and morale a lot.

    If Apple hadn’t participated in screwing these drivers by going with a contract limo service that forces drivers to work split shifts (effectively reducing the already low salary by 1/3), offers no benefits and pays on a par with Starbucks they wouldn’t have been forced for unionize. Unionization of employees is almost always a result of management malfeasance toward the workers.

    Those that say “if they don’t like the deal, they should just find a different job” buy into the implicit corollary “Apple can always find someone desperate enough to take these conditions, so fuck ’em all”, The American equivalent of Chinese child labor. Apple needs to look into the employee practices of its contractors in the US.

  6. In your commentary, you basically sound like every right wing douche bag that is against raising the minimum wage. It’s not enough that you disagree, you had to denigrate the drivers with sarcasm.

    It’s interesting that your website is the only Mac news site that hijacks my browser and sends me to the App Store. Perhaps you should get your own house in order before you start shitting on others.

    1. Typical Democrat Lib. No understanding of even simple economics. Raising the minimum wage is detrimental to all. So is this union overreach for bus drivers. The bus drivers ultimately will be hurt by this. Do a web search for “Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price” and learn something if you’re capable.

      1. Wow, this is a Mac news site right? I’ve been coming here for over a year. I’ve never read the comments until today. This place is really mean spirited. I even went so far as to click on affiliate links on this website and purchase stuff (small things) to support the website. I’m never coming back here again. Can’t say that I’ll be missed.

        1. I contend that ignoramuses who call people who understand the issue “right wing douche bags” while pontificating complete nonsense that actually hurts the lower skilled worker in the long run are the truly “mean spirited.”

          1. Shut Up already with the tired “skills” trope. Somebody has to do the jobs that are beneath a superior being such as yourself.

            Why do you want them to starve while doing it?

            If your side truly believes its bullshit about unlimited growth markets, then there is plenty to spread around right? It just means a greedy fucker like you might need to eat a little less caviar instead of spitting on your fellow Americans.

            1. It’s not a “tired trope.” It’s a fact. People have different skillsets. Or do you really believe that a bus driver has the skills to write code or run a Fortune 500 company?

              The market – IF LEFT ALONE – will not allow the bus drivers to starve if the jobs they do are required. If the market requires bus drivers to transport higher skilled workers from San Fran to Cupertino, because the higher skilled workers desire to partake in the benefits of living in San Fran while funding that by working in Cupertino, then the market will ensure that the bus drivers continue to exist and at the correct price for that service and the skillset it requires.

        2. jmobb: There is a distinct neo-conservative influence at MDN from it’s management on down to a lot of its readers. It is rare that something with an obscure political connection isn’t turned into political warz. That’s easily the single worst aspect of MDN. We all have to deal with other people’s personalities that are not our own. And MDN is a fun place to catch up-to-date Apple news and chat with fun people who are not nearly as loony as the neo-cons who hang about.

    2. Minimum wage proponents are morons.

      Minimum wage increases lead to decreases in hours and to increased unemployment. If a worker loses his/her job or can’t find one, his/her income is zero. Employers will not pay a worker $X per hour if that worker cannot produce at least that amount. Numerous studies prove that there are no positive effects on employment of low-skilled workers that offset the negative effects from an increase in the minimum wage. With so many young, unskilled workers looking for work, employers can pick and choose. They can cut benefits and hours; and they can substitute more-skilled workers for less-skilled workers.

      This is all common sense. Therefore Republicans understand it implicitly while leftist knee-jerkers fail to comprehend and resort to sputtering total nonsense.

      Read and learn:
      Gravity Payments $70K minimum salary: Employees quit, company may fold

    3. You are not HELPING people by raising the minimum wage, you are HURTING them.

      Four months ago, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price decided to pay every one of his employees at least $70,000 per year. The move was widely hailed in the media as an idea whose time has come. But the actual results for this credit card processing company have been that experienced employees are quitting and customers are leaving, likely forcing Gravity Payments either to change the policy or go out of business.

      The results were easy to predict.

      Full story: Gravity Payments $70K minimum salary: Employees quit, company may fold

  7. Apple’s issue is that they need their workers to get to work with minimum hassle. I have lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years and the commute can be crazy. Some people drive 2-3 hrs one way to get to work. I used to drive from SF to Berkeley. 13 miles would take 45-60 minutes. Commuting from Berkeley to Fremont (30 miles) would take 1.5hrs. Fremont to Mountain View (20 h) takes 1 hr.
    Buses take the stress out of getting to work. Genentech actually consider the time on the bus as work time because they have internet and can work online.
    The point is that to get the most out of your key workers it is better (and probably more economic) to make sure that they get to work safe and refreshed. It may sound like pandering but the reality is that the staff cost a lot and it is better to make the most of their time at work (and on the road).
    One driver can take 50 workers per bus. Those workers are paid $70 an hour. Driving them to work means they save 2 hours or more in having to drive themselves. That is at least $7000 per day extra productivity gained and the workers are not exhausted from the commute. So paying the drivers $7 extra an hour is 1% of the potential gain from improved efficiency of the workforce.

  8. IOW: These are NOT ‘bus drivers for Apple.’ These are bus drivers for Compass Transportation, who have a contract with Apple to provide bus services.

    New Contract,
    Different Company.
    Apple creates its own in-house bus service.

    However, there’s always more to know about any situation. I’d like to know how the union’s demands compare with the cost of living in their area in order to determine what constitutes a living wage. Then it can be evaluated whether this is an extravagant request or a logical request. Etc.

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