Transcript for Contract Employees in Silicon Valley Struggle to Make Ends Meet: Part 4
Take silicon valley, the high-tech companies with the golden names. Where employees get free food, any kind, as much as they want. Free dry cleaning, gyms on site and right there all around them thousands of other people also working very hard in the shadows. Tl DL -- there, amid all the wealth, we heard about the drivers of the shuttle buses. When we began our report, we found drivers sleeping in the parking lot. They go to work at six in the morning, but have to wait for hours without pay in the middle of the day until they take employees home. Napping in their cars at a depot with portable toilets. Three outhouses out there is not suitable for a woman. If I was a woman I would never use them, for a man it's different if you're just doing number one. 35 to 40 bus drivers are here. People are sleeping all over here in their cars. It's just awful when you park inside and you have drivers covering their cars with blankets and towels. It's two beds for women, two beds for men. That's not enough. You seen how many buses just came through here. Reporter: These drivers are what's called contract employees. Working for companies who provide them to the high-tech industry. When we met them, they had few benefits, little vacation, no paid holidays. My name is Terrence Rollins. I'm a driver. I love my job. My age is 51. I get up at 3:00 A.M., I make it home about 11:00, 10:00 at night, I have to take care of my family. If people have to migrate like "The grapes of wrath," if people have to migrate a great difference to find work and comfort, then there's an issue here. Reporter: At that time one of drivers ferrying apple employees to their campus was Scott peebles. He was trying to save money for a rental apartment someplace nearby. But at the time was living in his car using an inflatable mattress. I have the air pump right here, and I just turn the ignition switch on to accessory. And then I would pump up the -- it always needs air. I have my blanket here in case it gets cold and I put the visor in the front so it blocks out some of the light. I mean, if people would know this, if corporations or businesses they work for, they would probably be aghast that their employees were living in a car or van. He used to be one of the high-tech employees, and wrote a kind of apology. I take off my glasses. Put the cover on. And then I just close this door and say good night. We're a company's ambassador, we're welcoming all their customers, we treat their employees well. When I first started, there were paid holidays, a lot of times you got bonuses. Some of them, it's like a regular job, it's just that you're a contract worker. You were treated like one of the gang. Reporter: But now? No more vacations, or paid sick time. The hourly rate was dropping. Reporter: And because these are contract employees, do the people who work in the buildings know? I'm sure they don't. I'm pretty sure they don't. Reporter: Do you think they care? I'm pretty sure they do. The service worker is just a replaceable cog in the machine, who keeps it going, but aren't part of the cult, the dream, or vision of that company. Reporter: We saw the parallel lives. Near luxury houses, trailers parked in the streets. Service employees living so differently from the people they serve. Irma Alvarado, a legal resident working in this country for decades. Hi, I'm Diane. It's very nice to meet you. Are you Irma? It's so nice to see you. Reporter: Irma, 62, is a contract employee who's spent 26 years cleaning restrooms and offices at Visa. She says for the first time ever, she got a card with $25. $25 dollars after 26 years? You're smiling. Is that how you feel? No. Reporter: Irma's grandson, who has no put to place his clothes in their crowded house tells us his American dream. I would have a big bed and I would have a drawer to put all my clothes. Reporter: You'd like to have a drawer? Just one drawer? How many drawers? Ten drawers. Our experts say companies can cut costs by using contract employees. If anything, the practice is growing. The challenge, how to grow together. One of the problems with this is, in each link down that chain, the pressures grow to lower labor costs. I am confident that our economy will grow. The question is, will it yield an America with shared prosperity? Reporter: And a moment for a footnote from our travels. We ran into a mother and daughter who clean the bathrooms at the Detroit airport. This is Linda. I see people living. Where do they get the money from? Reporter: They told us they too would like to send a message. And it's not about money. It's about something simple. We go into restrooms and we clean them. We have to clean toilets.
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