Cristobal is a United States Army veteran. He served for seven years, including three years in the war in Iraq. He now works full-time as a contract security officer at Facebook.
Beginning at sunrise, Cristobal stands at a crosswalk on Hacker Way, guiding the traffic — employee buses arriving, executives in company cars, pedestrians looking down at their phones who need to cross safely. He earns $21 per hour, which doesn’t afford him a home in Silicon Valley. So he lives in a shed in a backyard in Mountain View.
Cristobal has spent a lot of time thinking about his time in the army, about how he fought to defend the freedoms that allow a company like Facebook to flourish in this country. He has begun to organize with other service employees in the tech industry -cooks, custodians, security officers-to fight for better benefits, higher pay. He sees himself as part of an army of workers who are doing their best to support the big tech companies. But he doesn’t see any of the wealth trickling down to them.