Apple Raises the Bar for Service Worker Compensation in Silicon Valley With Sudden 25% Pay Raise for Its 150 Shuttle Bus Drivers
Apple is putting a new focus on the benefits of public transportation — specifically of buses — and is now giving a raise to the shuttle bus drivers in southern California who transport Apple employees to and from work. According to the San Jose Mercury News, this is just “the latest in a series of steps to improve conditions for the service workers who keep Silicon Valley humming.”
The drivers, who are employed by third-party contractors, including Compass Transportation and Royal Coach Tours, will begin to see a 25% raise on their hourly pay rates, thanks to Apple’s funding decision. The drivers who work “split shifts,” which include both morning and evening routes, will reportedly see an even bigger raise to compensate for their less-than-convenient work hours. Additionally, Apple plans to work on creating new regulations for the drivers that focus on longer breaks and convenient rest stops.
According to Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, over 150 drivers will receive raises for running shuttle buses throughout the Bay Area, exclusively transporting about 5,000 Apple employees on a daily basis.
With all of these new changes already in place — and plenty of future improvements that will roll out in the near future — Apple’s drivers have quickly become the highest-paid bus drivers in the area and beginning to set a precedent for how companies in Silicon Valley treat their service employees; with any luck, Apple’s decision could even set a precedent for safety and monetary standards of the thousands of bus drivers that are employed at more than 3,400 individual motorcoach companies across the country.
“[Apple’s raise] is definitely going to help us attract the best drivers and retain the great drivers that we have,” said Greg Gallup, the chief operating officer for Royal Coach Tours.
As for the individual drivers, who work in one of country’s most vibrant tech communities while receiving “few of the industry’s lavish perks,” the raise is certainly appreciated.
“Anything that Apple is willing to do for us, that’s terrific,” said one current shuttle driver. “I can’t wait to see that in my check.”
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