Apple plans to bring many of its security staff onto the payroll, another move that suggests Silicon Valley aims to address issues of inequality.
After a year-long review, the company says it will be hiring full-time employees to handle security at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. "We've decided to directly hire a number of key onsite security roles for Apple's Silicon Valley operations, which are currently contract positions," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet in a statement.
"We will be hiring a large number of full-time people to handle our day-to-day security needs," she said. "We hope that virtually all of these positions will be filled by employees from our current security vendor, and we're working closely with them on this process."
Apple would not release how many employees would make up the security staff, but the staffing will include all the guards and workers who patrol the campus. The security employees will get similar benefits and perks that all Apple employees get, Huguet said in an interview.
This follows similar action by Google, which in October announced that it would bring its own security guards on staff.
United Service Workers West, a Calif.-based affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, had pressured Google and Apple to hire its own workers rather than use contractor Security Industry Specialists. The union protested at Apple headquarters in December.
Both moves come after extensive coverage from USA TODAY about the growing inequality, and tough working conditions, for service workers in Silicon Valley.
In other recent action, shuttle drivers for Apple and five other Silicon Valley firms including eBay and Yahoo voted Friday to join Teamsters Local 853. The union had already organized the Facebook shuttle bus drivers, which recently approved a contract negotiated by the union and Loop Transportation, the contractor that supplies drivers who ferry Facebook employees to and from work.