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National COSH Reacts to Facebook’s Announcement on Wages and Working Conditions for Contract Employees

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Press Contacts: 

Roger Kerson, roger@nationalcosh.org, 734.645.0535

National COSH Reacts to Facebook’s Announcement on Wages and Working Conditions for Contract Employees:

Tech Workers Deserve Immediate Raises and Long-Term Support

SAN DIEGO, CA – The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), reacting today to Facebook’s announcement of pay raises and improved conditions for content moderators, said workers deserve immediate raises and long-term support to address job-related hazards.

“Higher incomes for workers who labor to remove violent and disturbing images, as well as other contract employees, is a step in the right direction, “ said National COSH co-director Jessica Martinez.  “But Facebook earned $22 billion in net income in 2018. Why should workers wait until 2020 to receive pay raises?”

Facebook was cited by National COSH, a non-profit workplace safety advocacy organization, as a “Dirty Dozen” company in 2019 due to low pay and difficult working conditions for contract employees who review violent and disturbing images on the tech giant’s global platform.

Following increased attention to the difficulties faced by Facebook’s contract workers, the company announced this week pay raises to between $18 and $22 an hour for content moderators and other third-party employees, depending on location.  A company official said changes will take place by the summer of 2020, according to Bloomberg News.

In addition to pay hikes, Facebook now plans to have mental health counselors available to workers who review violent and obscene content – such as videos of beheadings and child pornography – available 24 hours a day, to workers on all shifts.

“Having counselors available in real time on all shifts is appropriate for a company that operates 24-hour a day in all time zones,” said Martinez. “But Facebook must also recognize that moderating violent content is by its nature, a high-turnover position. Support should also be available, post-employment, for workers who choose to leave their jobs – because the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other job-related conditions can linger for years.”

 

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit nationalcosh.org. Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.