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Tech?s richest companies underpaying black, Hispanic workers

A new report from Working Partnerships USA, a labor and community group based in San Jose, California, points out a deplorable anomaly in the fabulously wealthy work of Silicon Valley tech companies. Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye reveals:
In 2013 the top 150 Valley companies made a record-breaking $103 billion in profits – more than double the state’s entire education budget. At the same time, said the report, Black and Hispanic workers in Santa Clara County are more than a quarter of the work force almost entirely in the lowest pay ranks. As one news report noted, “Four out of 10 security guards, seven out of 10 janitors and three-quarters of grounds maintenance workers in Silicon Valley are black or Hispanic.” At the same time, very few of the high-paying tech jobs are held by Black and Hispanics.

As a result, a high proportion of workers simply can’t make ends meet in an area famous for sky-high housing prices.  And yet, Apple, Google and the rest couldn’t function without these people.
As the Working Partnerships report concludes:
“If we imagine giving a raise of $5 per hour to 10,000 contracted workers – enough to lift a security guard from the median wage to self-sufficiency– it would cost less than 0.1% of that $103.7 billion in profits. With a stroke of a pen, tech companies could improve economic opportunities for thousands of low-wage workers and their families.”
Speed Matters agrees.

Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye (Working Partnerships USA report, August, 2014)

Report: Tech creating black, Hispanic underclass (USA Today, Aug. 25, 2014)