Struggling in Silicon Valley – Workers lack insurance, benefits

More than 30 percent of people surveyed in one of the wealthiest regions of the U.S. do not have health insurance, Wired News reports.

People Acting in Community Together, or PACT, surveyed nearly 3,800 people in Silicon Valley. The grassroots organization works to improve low-and middle-income neighborhoods in the region, Wired News reports.

In some communities, as many as 45 percent of families – most of them Vietnamese or Hispanic – lacked health insurance, PACT found.

Most of the uninsured were children and employed adults. Contract workers at high-tech companies were among those without insurance, Matt Hammer, executive director of PACT, said.

“The advertisements you read in the newspapers say so many jobs here have high pay, but the reality is not all the jobs are that high-paying when you factor in the cost of living and you pay your own healthcare,” said one contract worker who requested to remain anonymous.

Contract workers often lack vacation, sick days, or any other benefits in addition to health care, Wired reports.

Hammer thinks the state should step in to assist those excluded from the area’s economic boom. “This is not about welfare. It’s about what it means to be a full-time employee,” he told Wired.

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