Security guards employed by Securitas, Allied Universal, G4S and Cypress Security at a number of Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook and Google, will receive a raise and paid holiday, thanks to their first contract with Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Eddy Stam, Head of UNI Property Services said, “This pact underlines how relevant unions are in both the traditional and digital workspace. SEIU are leading the way. The contract they have brokered shows that the welfare of workers, even if it is a third party employer, is also a responsibility of the main client. Wages are directly derived from the price clients are willing to pay for their services. The only way the race to the bottom can be stopped is if clients take on their responsibility and embrace unions.”

The contract represents the latest labour inroad in the largely non-unionized Silicon Valley. The guards will also get paid vacation and health-care benefits partially covered by their employers. They join janitors, shuttle drivers, and cafeteria workers who now have union contracts.

The four-year contract covers more than 3,000 employees at Securitas Security Services USA Inc., Allied Universal, G4S plc, and Cypress Private Security LP, who earn $12 to $14 an hour guarding buildings of 75,000 square feet or more, the union said in a fact sheet for members. 

Facebook in a company statement said it “values the partnership with our security providers and we greatly appreciate our Security Officers and the tremendous work they do every day to keep our people and offices safe and secure.”

The contract ratified by workers on 11 August will run until 30 June 2022.