Apple appears to be making moves to get ahead of the current unionization efforts in some Apple retail stores and has begun notifying employees that it will increase the starting pay for hourly workers to a minimum of $22 per hour. Some markets will see even larger wage increases.
“Supporting and retaining the best team members in the world enables us to deliver the best, most innovative, products and services for our customers,” said Apple in a statement shared by The Wall Street Journal. “This year as part of our annual performance review process, we’re increasing our overall compensation budget.”
The $22 hourly figure is a 45% increase over 2018’s wages. Salaried positions are also expected to increase.
Apple has been quietly working to push back against unionization efforts in its U.S. stores. Employees have complained of stagnant wages, poor benefits, and lax health protocols as part of the effort to unionize.
Apple’s retail chief recently Deirdre O’Brien pushed back against unionization efforts at some of the company’s brick-and-mortar locations in a new video to staff members. O’Brien told staff members that the efforts could slow workplace progress and potentially harm the relationship between Apple and its employees.
Apple retail workers in Atlanta accused the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act and countering an ongoing union drive at an Apple Store location in the city.
The company has circulated anti-union materials to select store managers and has also hired anti-union lawyers to respond to the Atlanta unionization push.