April 13, 2024

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Facebook content moderators based in Kenya will receive a salary increase of between 30% and 50% after a TIME investigation.

The move comes two weeks after the expose drew attention to low pay, poor working conditions, and alleged union-busting by Sama, the outsourcing company that is their direct employer.

Every content moderator will receive an extra 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($176) per month, Sama told employees in a meeting on Tuesday, according to sources who attended.

The raise means that the lowest-paid Facebook content moderators at Sama will now take home around 50,000 Kenyan shillings ($439) each month after tax, or around $2.20 per hour for a 9-hour working day. 

This is up from around $1.50 per hour previously. Sama also promised that all Facebook content moderators would receive a yearly bonus worth one month of their salary, as an incentive to remain at the company, according to the sources.

Even with the pay rise, Sama employees remain some of Facebook’s lowest-paid workers anywhere in the world. 

By comparison, outsourced content moderators for Facebook in the U.S. are paid a typical starting salary of $18 per hour.

In the meeting on Tuesday, Habel Kamau, a human resources director at Sama’s Nairobi office, said that the salary changes were not a result of the TIME article. 

“The truth is that this conversation was still going to happen with these events occurring or not,” he said.

Kamau added that the pay increase had been made possible because of decisions to cut budgets elsewhere within Sama and did not indicate that the company would receive any more money from Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to cover staffing costs. 

The meeting did not address TIME’s revelations that Sama managers have been accused of suppressing a unionization effort in 2019. 

Daniel Motaung—a whistleblower and former employee who led more than 100 Sama workers in an attempted strike—told TIME that he had been fired following his efforts to secure better pay for staff.

Original article

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