Apple Retail employees have been planning to unionize in search of better working conditions. Although Apple has taken a stand against its employees unionizing, the company has now agreed to make work schedules more flexible at its retail stores amid union efforts.
As reported by Bloomberg, Apple has informed staff at some stores that the changes will take effect in the coming months. According to sources familiar with the matter, the company will increase the hours between shifts from 10 to 12 hours in addition to establishing that employees can only work after 8:00 p.m. for up to three days a week.
Other changes include not scheduling employees to work more than five consecutive days, whereas previously they could work up to six days in a row. However, there will be exceptions during product launches and holidays. Full-time employees will be eligible for a dedicated weekend day off every six months.
Apple declined to comment on the report, but Bloomberg’s sources claim that some of the changes will already take effect in the coming weeks, while others won’t happen until later this the year.
Apple’s response to unionization
When Apple learned that its retail employees were seeking to unionize, the company didn’t react well to the news. In a leaked memo last month, the company suggested that unionizing would get in the way and “change the way we work.” Apple’s head of retail Deirdre O’Brien then sent a video to US retail employees in which she discouraged them from unionizing.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) responded to Apple’s reaction by claiming that the company has been conducting a “systematic, sophisticated campaign” to intimidate its employees and interfere with their rights to unionize.
More recently, Apple has announced other changes amid unionization plans. The company doubled paid sick days, increased vacation days, and expanded backup child care in addition to raising the minimum hourly pay from $20 to $22. At least one Apple Store reportedly canceled the vote to unionize after these changes, but this fight is far from over.
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