Apple will pay hourly contract workers during COVID-19 shutdown

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Apple Park
Apple HQ is a ghost town during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Janitors, landscapers, bus drivers and other contract hourly workers at Apple’s campus in Cupertino and other buildings will still get paid during work stoppages related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple CEO reassured retail employees earlier this month that they would still get paid while stores are closed, but there was some concern that other hourly workers’ pay would be eliminated. That’s not true though according to an Apple spokesperson who said the checks will still be flowing.

“We’re working with all of our suppliers to ensure hourly workers such as janitorial staff are being paid during this difficult time,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, a teamsters union that represents more than 1,000 shuttle bus drivers called on Apple and Tesla to guarantee payment for their employees during the pandemic. While hourly retail employees are directly hired by Apple, most of the janitors, teamsters and other hourly employees at Apple campus are contracted through third-party companies.

Communication issues with Apple execs appear to have added to the confusion. Some contractors were told to continue billing Apple at the end of the month while other contractors received no word at all. This caused some companies to tell their workers last week that they would not be paid during the crisis. Many of those workers began the process of filing for unemployment. The U.S. saw its highest weekly unemployment claims last week with over 3 million people seeking unemployment.

Worldwide there are over 809,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 40,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there are over 165,000 confirmed cases and over 3,100 deaths at the time of writing.