| Cult of Mac

Apple store workers vote to unionize

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Apple Store workers in Maryland vote to unionize
Apple store employees in Towson, Maryland, voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Photo: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Employees at an Apple store in Maryland have made it the first of any of the Mac-maker’s retail locations to vote in favor of joining a union. Several other such stores are preparing to hold their own votes. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to discourage any efforts by its employees to unionize.

It’s not clear how all this will affect users of Apple devices.

New scheduling policies make Apple stores better places to work

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Apple West Lake
Improvements to scheduling rules for Apple retail employees are likely intended to head off unionizing efforts.
Photo: Apple

Apple U.S. retail store employees now get a minimum of 12 hours between shifts, up from 10 hours. And they won’t have to work more than five days in a row. These are just two of the changes Apple is reportedly making to how it schedules workers at its 270+ retail locations.

It’s likely these are intended to reduce employee interest in joining unions.

Apple raises pay for retail and corporate employees

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Apple store
Good news, Apple retail employees!
Photo: Apple

Apple employees can to look forward to raises. The company sent an email to its workers informing them it’ll spend more on employee compensation this year. And starting pay for retail workers is going up 10%.

This is happening as Apple faces increasing competition for employees in a tight labor market, and its retail workers are starting to unionize.

Apple accused of hindering employee efforts to unionize

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Apple moves to head off employee union efforts
It seems Apple won't sit quietly while its retail employees unionize.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Workers attempting to form unions at multiple Apple retail stores allege the iPhone-maker is breaking federal labor laws in its attempts to block these efforts.

If the allegations bear out, it’s more than a bit hypocritical – Apple requires its component suppliers to allow their employees to join unions.

COVID-19 throws off Apple’s return-to-office plan yet again

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Apple leases new offices near to Apple Park
Getting employees back in Apple Park isn't going smoothly.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Apple reportedly slowed the pace at which it will require its corporate employees to return to the office. They were scheduled to be back at their desks three days a week starting later this month, but rising numbers of COVID-19 cases supposedly pushed that back.

Apple employees are still required to be in the offices two days a week.

Apple moves to head off employee union efforts

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Apple moves to head off employee union efforts
It seems Apple won't sit quietly while its retail employees unionize.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly working with Littler Mendelson, a law firm with a history of helping companies prevent their employees from unionizing. The move comes in the wake of workers at several Apple stores moving to form unions.

If true, then Apple is going to do what it can to prevent the thousands of employees at its 250+ retail locations in the United States from organizing for collective bargaining.

Apple store workers eye unions for higher pay

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Apple Store employees in Atlanta and New York work to unionize for higher pay
The Apple Store in Cumberland Mall could soon become the first to have a union.
Photo: Apple

Dozens of workers at an Apple store in Atlanta reportedly plan to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to become a union. Employees at an Apple retail store in New York are moving in that direction, too.

These could be the first U.S. Apple store employees to unionize. Both groups are asking for higher wages.

Apple employees must begin dragging their sad asses back to the office

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Apple Park Close up
Apple Park will soon be humming with busy employees again.
Photo: Apple

Monday is the day Apple requires its corporate employees to start working in the office some of the time. The pandemic era when most of them could work from home all the time is over.

But everyone doesn’t have to be back in the office five days a week starting today. This is the beginning of a transition period, after which many workers will still be able to work from home a couple days of every week.

Some employees get $200,000 bonuses as Apple again tries to retain them

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If you work in this building, you may have just gotten a little richer.
If you work in this building, you may have just gotten a little richer.
Photo: Apple

Apple is at it again, trying to retain top employees in a competitive marketplace by giving them big money. This time the Cupertino tech giant has handed out a round of special stock bonuses to a group of hardware and software engineers. The amounts range from $100,000 to $200,000.

Apple removes face mask requirements for corporate and retail employees

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Apple's CEO and Spanish singer Rosalía take a selfie with Madrid Apple employees.
Apple employees have a lot to celebrate.
Photo: Tim Cook

Apple is dropping the requirement for most of its corporate employees to wear masks, but there are still limitations. And the company has begun allowing some of its retail employees to take off their face mask at Apple Stores.

The policy change takes place as the surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant is essentially over.