Google is set to hire hundreds of security guards for its in-house security in a move that will help improve the growing income gap in the tech industry. Google will give the guards the same perks and benefits as their other employees that include health insurance, parental leave, and retirement benefits. The search engine giant will still use the services of its current security provider, Security Industry Specialists, Inc.
The move is said to be a milestone in Silicon Valley as a couple of wage disputes are happening in the area that involves the industry’s invisible workforce that includes janitors, security guards, and cooks. Most tech companies use contractors to provide cleaning and security services that don’t pay workers enough to afford them to stay in the area. There are more than 3,000 security guards working in Silicon Valley and they earn around $14 per hour.
A family of four with two working adults requires at least $19 per hour to be self-sufficient. Most of the low wage service workers are people of color. Latinos, Asians or Pacific Islanders make up around 60 percent of the workforce. African Americans are 13 percent. 26 percent of the invisible workforce is white.
Tech companies have faced several wage disputes this year alone. In September, hundreds of security guards have picketed in front of Apple stores across the United States during the launch of the iPhone 6. Amazon workers in Germany went on strike last September as they demand for better wages. Protestors in San Francisco blocked tech workers from riding commuter shuttle buses last August to protest against gentrification that displaced a lot of low wage workers.
LinkedIn paid around $4 million in unpaid overtime after the US Department of Labor released the result of its investigation. Apple, Google, and Adobe had to pay employees $324 million to settle a wage fixing lawsuit.
Photo by gregorywass