The Reverend Jesse Jackson has written to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask that the company improve their treatment of low-paid contractors, such as security guards. The San Jose Mercury News also reports that Jackson has requested a meeting with Cook to discuss the issue.
The paper reports a growing debate about the widespread use of contract workers by tech companies for low-paid roles, contract staff having none of the protections or perks afforded to direct employees.
The News reports the differences between the perk direct employees receive, compared to contract workers is stark:
Contract workers […] do everything from driving shuttle buses to cooking in the cafeteria. But as the tech workers they serve are showered with eye-popping perks, service workers often struggle to make ends meet in the pricey Bay Area, advocates say.
Rev. Jackson says he is concerned about the treatment of Apple’s security guards by Apple contractor Security Industry Specialists. He reports that while the guards are paid above-average wages for their work, unstable hours and high-staff turnover makes for a poor working environment.
While Jackson praised Apple for their stance on issues like the environment and LGBT rights, he said Apple should “have world-class working conditions for their workers from the bottom up.”
Google, who previously used the same security contractor announced last month that it will begin employing its guards directly, affording them the same benefits as other Google hires.