Protesters Storm Apple’s Cupertino Campus

As rain pummeled the Bay Area, a group of protesters stormed Apple's campus Thursday, calling for the tech giant to help the service workers who keep its campus humming make a better living.

Rallied by United Service Workers West and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, more than 100 people gathered at Apple's Cupertino headquarters to draw attention to the valley's broad use of contract workers, who carry out many tasks on corporate campuses but often make a fraction of what tech workers do. During a brief but lively demonstration, protesters dressed in plastic purple ponchos milled outside in the rain, breaking out frequently into call-and-response chants.

The energy in the crowd mounted when Jackson arrived, directing the demonstrators to repeat after him word for word: "We marvel at the growth of high tech and biotech, but we are the foundation."

Guided by the civil rights leader, the crowd continued: "We fight today in the rain for job security and justice."

After Jackson left for the airport, the protesters marched into an Apple building to deliver a petition, signed by 20,000 people, which calls for the company to lead a charge for better working conditions for service workers in the Silicon Valley. Emboldened, the protesters crowded the lobby chanting "Sí se puede" ("Yes, we can") and waved a sign reading, "Apple dodges taxes, we pay the price," as Apple employees peered down on the scene from upper floors. After a few minutes, a screeching alarm ushered the protesters back out in the rain.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

The protest reflects an intensifying debate in the region about the valley's treatment of contract workers, who advocates say are struggling to get by in the pricey Bay Area as tech workers enjoy ever sweeter perks. Facebook's shuttle bus drivers, who work for Loop Transportation, recently voted to...

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