ICT - SF Tech Worker Fired After Complaining About Low Salary
An employee of one of San Francisco's biggest Internet firms posted a detailed account on her blog on how she and her fellow workers could not afford to live and work in the City's tech culture, which has driven up rents to astronomical levels, because of their dinky "entry level" salaries. And then she was fired.
Just last week, CareerSpot told of "tech bro" Justin Keller, the tech executive who didn't want "to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day", and thus demanded the mayor and police chief rid San Francisco of the "homeless and riff raff" - in most cases, San Francisco's working people driven to homelessness by the tech boom. Keller's rant was the socially cancerous result of San Francisco's rolling out of the red carpet for tech start-ups, which started a gold rush of real estate speculation that destroyed neighborhoods and drove up apartment rentals up within 10 miles of the city to US$3,058/AU$4,270 a month for a one-bedroom and US$3,925/$5,500 for two bedrooms.
Although there are obscene amounts of money being thrown around in ICT, it's not trickling down - it never does. Talia Jane worked for Internet food delivery service Eat24, a part of the larger Yelp! empire of food-related web sites. On Friday, she wrote a blog post and open letter to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman that detailed how she and her coworkers couldn't afford both rent and groceries in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area. Talia's take home was US$733.24/AU$1,023.43 every two weeks, 80 percent of which was applied to her rent of US$1,245/AU$1,738 a month. In order to get a rent that low, Talia rents an apartment 30 miles from the city - and thus train costs compete with food, clothing,and other expenses for that last AU$300 per month.
"Every single one of my coworkers is struggling. They're taking side jobs, they're living at home," she wrote.
By Friday afternoon, Talia got a message from Yelp HR informing her that she was fired to violating confidentiality rules.
BTW, Yelp is a publicly traded company worth US$1.37 billion. Stoppelman's net worth is estimated at around US$222 million.
Stoppelman responded with a five-part Twitter message on Saturday, denying involvement in the sacking of Talia, and sloughing off responsibility for the plight of his remaining workers onto the Sn Francisco housing market: "Late last night I read Talia's medium contribution and want to acknowledge her point that the cost of living in SF is far too high", and, "Twitter army please put down the pitchforks".
Talia responded in Twitter: "So, he could respond to allegations of his involvement but not my direct tweets to him discussing the need for a living wage. Hmm."