As unions in Silicon Valley are pushing for better conditions for contract employees, including security guards, Apple finds itself caught in a labor debate. The Service Employees International Union and civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson are pushing for better working conditions for contracted security guards, and the two are hoping that they can convince Apple to lend its leadership to the cause.
Though it hopes to unionize security guards across the valley, United Service Workers West has sharpened its focus on Apple, whose actions the group believes could set a standard for other tech companies to follow. Although unions must ultimately negotiate with contractors, clients such as Apple set the tone, said Samuel Kehinde, a former security guard who is now vice president of United Service Workers West.
Jackson is urging Apple to take leadership on the matter based on its corporate beliefs:
"Part of the narrative of their firm is equitable and first-class leadership," Jackson said in an interview. "As they grow at such a rapid pace, they should have world-class working conditions for their workers from the bottom up."