Our colleagues Steven M. Swirsky and Daniel J. Green at Epstein Becker Green published an article on Management Memo  that will be of interest to our Technology Employment Law subscribers:  “Teamsters and Technology: Developing Labor Issues for Technology Industry Employers.”

Following is an excerpt:

Employers in the Technology Media and Telecommunications (“TMT”) industries have generally not thought that union organizing was an issue that affected their businesses and workforces.  Recent developments suggest that this is no longer the case.

These industries have earned reputations for innovative workplaces, generous benefits, and free food. At the same time, technology companies have outsourced many non-core functions such as campus security, maintenance, and transportation to third party suppliers.  Employees of these vendors generally receive less generous compensation, benefits and perks than high tech employees. The different treatment of primary employees and ancillary workers employed by subcontractors has given rise to claims that the industry is divided into the “haves” and “have not’s” and provoked a rising backlash among many workers.

Unions have been using this discontent to increase their influence in the TMT industry. Facebook’s shuttle bus drivers voted to unionize this past November and ratified a first contract on February 21 of this year. On February 27th shuttle bus drivers employed by a contractor that provides shuttle services for Apple, eBay, Yahoo, and Zynga employees voted to be represented by the Teamsters. At the same time, the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”), which has been actively organizing fast food workers nationwide, has been working to organize custodial employees and security guards of high tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Most of these organizing campaigns are focused on the employees of subcontractors retained by TMT companies, but that has not deterred unions from pressuring those companies directly.

Read the original post here.