Hourly workers at Apple’s retail stores and the company’s support call centers say poor working conditions have caused them to struggle, with at least one employee being driven to suicide.
Apple workers around the globe have been complaining of low pay, and the company has begun to pay out $1,000 bonuses to some employees. However, many of Apple’s hourly workers are revealing bad working conditions.
“The Verge” spoke with 16 current and former employees of Apple’s retail, support and sales teams. Their extensive responses detail an Apple that is doesn’t live up to its public image.
“[Apple says] our soul is our people but it really didn’t feel like that to me,” said one a former employee.
“Corporate makes decisions based on what they think will work in the stores without talking to people who work in the stores,” said another.
“There’s never positive intent assumed,” said one current employee. “It always feels like you’re a kid getting in trouble and you’re making an excuse.”
Workers say they feel they have no one they can talk or complain to.
Two former Apple Store employees say that Mark Calivas, an Apple Store employee who committed suicide, was mistreated by his manager. The two former employees say that Calivas was “punished” by this manager, but complaints against her were ignored.
“I filed three, maybe four complaints myself,” one said. “I participated in at least six investigations.”
While Apple has made small gestures to smooth over the relationship with employees. At one point, Apple sent employees Apple shirts as a thank you. It was later discovered that the shirts were leftovers from Apple’s canceled WWDC 2020.
Apple’s $1,000 bonus offering has not been well-received either.
“I think it feels more like they don’t want to get sued for not offering hazard pay after making some of us work in public in the last year,” one source told The Verge.
Calivas friend Jimmy Bailey says that he has asked Tim Cook to act.
“Tim, I have emailed you about this issue,” he said. “What then, Tim, do you plan on doing? I still see Mark. I see him constantly. But even though I see him, he is gone.”
“We were devastated by the death of our colleague and our thoughts are with his loved ones in their time of grief,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge.