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Disgruntled Apple store workers reportedly start unionizing efforts

Disgruntled workers at a number of Apple Store locations nationwide are beginning to organize potential unionization drives as the iPhone maker rakes in record profits, according to a report. The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant did not respond to a Post inquiry about the potential of labor unrest among some 65,000 staffers at its 270 retail locations in the United States. But employees there who earn between $17 and $30 an hour are reportedly unhappy over stagnant wages despite the company’s market capitalization surpassing $3 trillion last year, according to the Washington Post. Apple CEO Tim Cook took home a reported payday of $99 million in 2021 — a handsome reward for leading the company to explosive earnings. In the last calendar year, Apple generated $378 billion in revenue. Cook’s compensation is jarring when juxtaposed with the pay earned by retail workers, some of whom threatened a walkout in December while demanding better sick leave and working conditions. In 2021, Cook earned more than 1,400 times the pay of Apple’s average employee, according to Reuters. The iPhone maker said it would offer an enhanced sick time policy and more vacation days, among other perks. The upgraded benefits will be available to Apple’s full-time and part-time workers at US stores beginning on April 4. Shares of Apple were down around 0.25% in trading on Wall Street on Friday. Apple’s filings with the SEC indicate that retail stores and the company website account for 36% of the company’s $366 billion in total revenue in fiscal year 2021. But workers there told the Washington Post they’re frustrated that the company’s record profits haven’t been reflected in their paychecks. The employees said their salaries have remained stagnant even in the midst of record levels of inflation. “I have a lot of co-workers and friends who I genuinely love and they do not make enough to get by,” one anonymous labor organizer who works at an Apple Store told the Washington Post. “They’re struggling and they’re hurting and we work for a company that has the resources to make sure that they’re taken care of.” Apple workers seeking to unionize are fearful management will try to dissuade its employees, so they’ve taken to encrypted messaging apps and secret meetings in a bid to facilitate the organizing drive, according to the report. Apple is the latest blue-chip company to be faced with the prospect of their workers organizing into unions. Employees at more than 80 Starbucks locations have filed paperwork to form unions, as did workers at outerwear retailer REI.

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