Each day, bikeshare workers at Facebook climb in an unmarked van and set out to recover bikes ridden off the company’s sprawling campus. Their recovery missions are one of the few real interactions between the hyper-wealth of the tech giant’s headquarters, where the median salary is $240,000, and the surrounding impoverishment of East Palo Alto and the Baylands’ homeless encampments. After a coworker was assaulted on a recovery mission, bikeshare workers decided to begin organizing, tired of being asked to put themselves in danger for poverty wages.
Their fight to change the power structure in their work place spanned more than six months, drew international media attention, and found organizers facing off against social media’s biggest tech titan and every union busting trick in the book. Now that they’re finally past the bureaucratic hurdles and welcoming a union into their shop, the campaign rank and file have insights to share on what the frontline of the labor movement looks like in the heart of Silicon Valley’s stratified caste-based tech economy.
We’re excited to host the lead organizers from Bike Workers United to hear their story of struggle and organization in conversation with journalist Padmini Parthasarathy.