DECEMBER 24, 2021
An Apple store. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
- A group of more than 50 Apple retail employees reportedly walked out on Christmas Eve, demanding better work conditions.
- Most Apple stores in the US are open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
- The group’s demands include a more respectful workplace and paid sick time.
A group of Apple employees is planning to walk off their jobs on Christmas Eve and are urging a customer boycott on the day — when much last-minute holiday shopping takes place.
The worker advocacy group Apple Together called for a walkout on Thursday. Its demands include a more respectful workplace and paid sick time. More than 50 retail employees across several states have already participated in the walkout, according to a HuffPost report.
—Apple Together (@AppleLaborers) December 23, 2021
Apple Together also urged customers to boycott the company during the walkout period. “Don’t shop in stores. Don’t shop online,” the organization tweeted. In a follow-up tweet, workers outlined requests that included protections from abusive customers, COVID-19 safety measures, and hazard pay.
—Apple Together (@AppleLaborers) December 24, 2021
Information on Apple’s website said most stores in the US would be open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
The Apple Together tweet also informed workers who walked off that they could apply for strike funds via the Coworker Solidarity Fund, a nonprofit. The fund’s webpage said it was accepting only waitlist applications for stipends of up to $5,000.
The walkout is the latest employee action in a year that has seen unprecedented activism from Apple workers, who have called on the company to change certain working conditions for both corporate and retail employees.
One key issue has been worker safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees at Apple’s corporate offices have pushed back on the company’s mandatory return-to-office policy, which has been delayed several times this year, and was most recently planned for January. Last week, the company delayed its return-to-office plan indefinitely, citing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Apple retail workers have also spoken out against unsafe conditions at the company’s stores, with several telling NBC News that employees who were feeling sick were forced to work Black Friday, despite COVID-19 prevention policies.
Employees at the iPhone maker have also publicly organized around other working conditions. This summer, a group of 15 Apple corporate and retail employees created #AppleToo, a website for employees to share their stories of mistreatment at the company. Apple then fired two of the employees involved in those efforts. In October, it reportedly fired Janneke Parrish, a leader of the #AppleToo movement, and in September it fired Ashley Gjovik, who had spoken out about harassment and sexism at Apple.
An Apple spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Courtesy/Source: Business Insider