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Apple to Boost Pay for Shuttle Bus Drivers

Shuttle drivers have become an emblem of the divide between tech employees and service workers.

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Bus drivers who shuttle thousands of Apple employees to and from work will see pay raises and improved working conditions — two issues that labor organizers have championed in Silicon Valley.

Apple will fund a 25 percent hourly wage increase for some 150 drivers and require premium pay for those who work split shifts. The Cupertino company also is calling on the shuttle bus companies to improve their driver break and rest areas.

“This is a huge benefit for our drivers,” said Greg Gallup, chief operating officer of Royal Coach Tours.

Shuttle drivers who transport employees for Apple, eBay, Yahoo and other Silicon Valley companies voted last month to organize, seeking better wages and working conditions. The drivers, some of whom would work mornings and evenings but not be paid for the hours in between, became an emblem of the divide between highly paid tech employees and the service workers who command lower wages.

Companies whose drivers are represented by the Teamsters Union will need to reach agreement with the labor leaders.

The announcement comes on the eve of Apple’s major product launch Monday in San Francisco and the company’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday at its Cupertino headquarters.

Last week, the technology giant said that it will bring its security guards, who had previously been contract employees, onto the payroll.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.