Over 50 Apple retail employees reportedly walked out of the company on Christmas Eve in protest of poor working conditions.
A more respectful workplace and paid sick leave are among the group’s demands. They are also demanding hazard pay and other benefits.
Apple stores in the United States are generally open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
But “Apple Together”, a worker advocacy group, called for a walkout last Thursday.
As part of Apple Together’s walkout campaign, customers were encouraged to boycott the company. The organization advised people not to shop in stores or online.
They also requested protection from abusive customers, COVID-19 safety measures, and hazard pay in a follow-up tweet.
One worker in a Jacksonville Florida Apple Store reported, “Last week, a customer came in and spit on one of our team members,” The worker said that despite the spitting incident, the customer was then serviced by the store’s leadership. These types of events have continued, despite calls to leadership for new policies, he said. “There needs to be a different protocol.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant concerns about worker safety. The company’s mandatory return-to-office policy has been delayed several times this year, and was most recently slated for January. Apple employees have complained about the policy. In response to the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the company delayed its return-to-work plan indefinitely last week.
NBC News reported Apple retail workers who felt sick were still forced to work on Black Friday, despite COVID-19 policies.
The iPhone maker’s employees have also organized around other conditions. A group of 15 Apple employees created #AppleToo, a website for sharing stories about mistreatment at the company.
What do you think? Will the worker’s complaints affect how you shop from Apple?