As Meta (formerly Facebook) begins to steadily reduce headcount growth, hundreds of contractual workers organised a protest at the company’s headquarters in the US, asking for responsible, fair contracts from the Mark Zuckerberg-led company.
Over 100 service workers from various unions marched on the Meta campus amid layoffs of contractual employees, reports Almanac News.
“The demonstration brought together cafeteria workers, janitors, shuttle drivers and more to fight for the rights of workers deemed essential in a post-pandemic environment,” the report mentioned.
In the march on the campus last week that went largely unnoticed, workers demanded fair contracts from Meta and its subcontractor, Canon Business. The alleged Canon Business had pushed back against workers unionising.
“Over the last several years, and let’s be true about this, forever, tech has been thriving on the backs of all of us,” Maria Noel Fernandez, campaign director of Silicon Valley Rising, was quoted as saying.
As Big Tech companies lay off employees and freeze new hirings, Meta Founder and CEO Zuckerberg has said that the company’s plan is to steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year.
Admitting that the social network has entered an economic downturn that will have a broad impact on the digital advertising business, Zuckerberg said that many “teams are going to shrink so we can shift energy to other areas inside the company”.
“I want to give our leaders the ability to decide within their teams where to double down, where to backfill attrition and where to restructure teams while minimising thrash to the long-term initiatives,” he during the company’s latest quarterly earnings call.
South Bay Labor Council Executive Officer Jean Cohen said that what Facebook can do the least is to “make sure that they come to the table to bargain fairly, to make sure that everybody is treated with respect and dignity and has a voice on the job”.
A Meta spokesperson said that it fully recognises the right of employees to organise and encourage vendors to continue to work collaboratively.
“Many of our vendors’ employees are represented by organised labour. We’re proud that we’ve partnered with vendors to create and maintain thousands of good-paying, union jobs with industry-leading compensation packages and will continue to do so,” the company spokesperson added.
Facebook reported a 1 per cent drop in revenue to $28.8 billion in the June quarter (Q2). Overall, Meta’s profit fell 36 per cent to $6.7 billion in the quarter.
Several Big Tech firms like Microsoft, Google, Snap, Twitter, Spotify and others have either shrunk their workforce or reduced/frozen hiring for the rest of the year.