It was only in May when Mark Zuckerberg told the graduating class at Harvard University that the United States should explore the option of a universal basic income. The concept, which countries like Brazil, Denmark and Canada are testing, promises citizens a paycheck regardless of employment, wealth, job status and other factors, according to CNN Money.
In his speech, Zuckerberg said such a basic income for all the citizens will give people an option to explore new ideas since they would have a financial cushion to do so. Now, just 2 months after giving that speech, Latino contract cafeteria workers at Facebook’s world headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., have joined UNITE HERE Local 19, a union representing workers in northern California.
The workers, who are employed by Flagship Facility Services, joined the union to negotiate better pay and affordable benefits in an area of the country that is becoming more and more expensive to live in. Mercury News reports that some of the employees are only able to afford to live in garages with their families to be closer to work.
“Their quest for a better life in Silicon Valley is what moved them to unionize,” Enrique Fernandez, the business manager for UNITE HERE Local 19 told Mercury News.
The Guardian reports that a spokesperson for Facebook says the company looks forward to working with the union to address the contractors’ concerns. The spokesperson also expressed that the tech company is committed to providing a “safe, fair work environment to everyone who helps Facebook bring the world closer together, including contractors.”
Read more on Mercury News by tapping here.