Facebook shuttle drivers lose jobs as Meta cuts costs and employees stay home

A car drives past the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California on March 21, 2018.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook’s plans to cut costs combined with the company’s relaxed remote working policies set the stage for a group of shuttle workers to lose their jobs.

WeDriveUa key supplier who Meta uses for its commuter commutes, said it would cut staff in and around the social media company’s Silicon Valley headquarters by nearly 100 people starting in November, according to an employment filing seen by CNBC . Most are drivers and some are dispatchers, operations managers and supervisors.

Meta-shuttle provider Hallcon Corporation, meanwhile, said it was laying off 63 employees at its San Francisco site around Nov. 25, due to a “significant reduction in customer services,” according to a filing. separate.

“Some employees may be retained or recalled to work,” a human resources director at Hallcon wrote in the filing. “However, no Hallcon Company employee who is terminated should expect to be recalled.”

Meta has also reduced shuttle staff from other contractor companies, according to Stacy Murphy, vice president of Teamsters Bay Area Local 853, a union with over 15,000 members in sectors such as transport. Murphy said all of the layoffs came from one company: Meta.

Meta janitorial staff protest job cuts.

The Rise of Silicon Valley

“All four vendors are losing people,” Murphy said, referring to companies that work with Meta.

The layoffs come as Meta seeks to lower the costs by 10% or more over the coming months in response to macroeconomic challenges and the general underperformance. Meta reported its first-ever drop in revenue in the second quarter and is expected to register another drop when third-quarter numbers arrive next week.

The stock is trading near its lowest since early 2019 and is one of the worst performers this year in the S&P 500.

Bus drivers who have shuttled Facebook employees around the Bay Area as the company has grown at a rapid pace over the past decade are in a particularly precarious position. Not only is the company now cutting costs, but it is also retaining more flexibility than its tech counterparts by allowing employees to work wherever they want.

The company reopened its office to employees in March, but gave employees the option of working remotely permanently or in a hybrid model. Many small businesses in San Francisco are struggling stay afloat due to workplace changes.

Murphy, along with union members, plan to protest Facebook cuts, saying now is “the worst time” to cut staff as blue-collar workers face rising costs in a market that remains among the most expensive in the country. “It’s crazy,” she said of the price hike.

Hallcon and WeDriveU did not return requests for comment.

In July, CNBC reported that Meta had canceled a contract with the guardians of its headquarters, leading to job cuts. Earlier this month, janitorial services workers gathered outside Meta Shop, a retail space in Burlingame, Calif., to protest working conditions as well as the cuts. The rally was organized by a labor coalition called Silicon Valley Rising and South Bay coalition. Workers held up signs reading “Justice for Janitors” and alleged the company was not treating its essential workers fairly.

Meta janitorial staff protest job cuts.

The Rise of Silicon Valley

Murphy said Meta has cut dozens of employees from the shuttle over the past three months, but the latest layoff notification represents “the largest we’ve ever seen.”

The Teamsters held a rally Thursday afternoon at the busiest intersection around Facebook’s headquarters to protest the Meta cuts. Murphy said one of the union’s efforts was to pressure the company to ask employees to return to their offices.

“Other tech companies are demanding they come back – why haven’t they?” Murphy said. “They want to stay home and that impacts everyone who supports the overall performance of the business.”

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