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Apple Store Employees Speak Out Against Work Conditions

Apple Store Employees Speak Out Against Work Conditions

Judging by a recent series of interviews conducted by a labor movement website, many Apple employees may not be satisfied with their work conditions, with many of them complaining about being underpaid, demoralized, and physically drained – all without an easy way to secure full-time benefits!

This is not the first time complaints like this have been vocalized – in fact, there have even been efforts by groups of Apple Retail employees to unionize in the past. Here is a summary of the complaints (beautifully summed up by CultofMac):

• Veteran Apple Store workers asking about pay disparities (namely, that new hires were being paid more than many employees who had been at the Apple Store for a year or more) are told that “money shouldn’t be an issue when you’re employed at Apple.” Rather, the chance to work at Apple “should be looked at as an experience” worth more than competitive pay alone.

• Apple Store keeps its retail employee healthcare costs low by defining all employees as part time unless they can literally guarantee that they will be available to work at anytime the store is open. This is true even if you work 40 hours a week.

• Apple understaffs its retail stores to keep costs down, adding undue amounts of stress for employees and customers alike. A Maryland employee interviewed said that Apple’s understaffing could make the workload “overwhelming” and “a lot more difficult to be effective.” A New York Apple Store employee confirms, comparing the disparity between the lengths Apple goes to to satisfy customers and the length it will go to appease employees as “demoralizing.”

• Apple management won’t take suggestions on how to make their retail stores work more efficiently because of their “very top-down corporate culture.”

• Recent changes in Apple Store scheduling policies have led to a “very big overhaul” of workers’ schedules and responsibilities, which means that the average Apple Store employee has less time to do repairs, less consistent schedules and a lot more employee burnout as they spend more time on the floor and work more early morning shifts immediately following night shifts. The new system is described as “draining emotionally and physically.”

The original article, even though it’s a clearly biased pro-union website, is definitely worth a read, and paints a very intriguing picture of what life may be like inside the beautiful and immaculately-organized glass walls that so many of us love to spend time in.

  1. Boxoflulz says:

    Sounds almost like Apple retail stores are a retail store. Oh wait…

    I was waiting for the “Oh, shit” moment and it never came. From my experiences working in retail this is almost the norm. And I’ll point out that different stores will operate slightly differently so this won’t be true for all stores (except perhaps the lack of benefits). I saw a couple Ops managers come through the Best Buy that I worked at and they did things differently with schedules. The first was great but after he left it was pretty shitty for everyone at the store. And you generally don’t get moved to full time until you’re in a senior position in retail because they don’t want to pay the benefits. I was in Geek Squad and one of my coworkers was doing the duties of the Geek Squad senior but they didn’t promote him for ages so he was working 40 hours while being classified as part time. If the employees are getting healthcare at all its an improvement from what I saw at BBY. 

    One different between BBY and Apple Retail from reading this was that we did have a suggestion box and a “Viewpoint” committee. They tackled fairly small issues from my experience though like “there’s not enough paper towels in the break room” and things to that effect.

    I don’t know why people expect Apple to run any different than any other retail store. I don’t expect that at all. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just another jab at a successful entity to slip in unions and destroy a great customer experience.  Stores where unions rule the employes are stores I never visit due to the horrid service.

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