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The Longer Read

Who is hit hardest by Big Tech job cuts? Cooks and janitors

Behind Silicon Valley prosperity is a workforce divided into haves and have-nots, says Naomi Nix, where contractors receive few to none of the benefits of full-time employment

Wednesday 12 July 2023 15:38 BST
Doug Lawson was a lead line cook employed by a contractor for Meta
Doug Lawson was a lead line cook employed by a contractor for Meta (Sarah Hoffman/Washington Post)

Doug Lawson, 34, was promoted two years ago to lead line cook by a contracting company that staffs many of the cafeterias at Facebook-parent Meta.

He was excited to take the new job, helping other cooks prepare food for the company’s tech workers – whipping up dishes such as pork buns and steamed vegetables at the company’s Seattle offices.

But in March, contracting company Flagship gave Lawson and his fellow line cooks a stark choice: they could either accept a lower-level position with similar responsibilities and lower compensation or be laid off. Lawson stayed, but the reduction in his monthly take-home pay has stung.

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