A group of Apple workers in retail and corporate has issued a plea for the company’s employees to walk out or call out on Christmas Eve. The group has dubbed itself Apple Together.
“Calling all Apple workers and patrons!” read the Tweet, “Tomorrow, December 24th, 2021, Apple workers are staging a walkout/callout to demand better working conditions.”
The patrons reference is interesting. Apple Together retweeted several supporters’ posts calling for a customer boycott, as well. Among them was a tweet from Alex Hanna, a Senior Research Scientist in Ethical AI at Google.
“Don’t shop at Apple Stores tomorrow. Support Apple workers!”
It’s unclear what impact a customer boycott would have. Most Apple stores in the U.S. are open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve for last minute shopping, but patrons can buy anytime online.
HuffPost reported that “at least 50 workers across three states” had walked out or called out, according to organizers.
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The group also issued a list of demands which included the imperative, “Don’t Shop In Stores. Don’t Shop Online.”
“We deserve a respectful workplace. We deserve paid sick time. We deserve protection on the frontlines. We deserve proper mental healthcare,” reads the tweet. “Demand that Apple upholds its image with your wallet. Don’t shop in stores. Don’t shop online.”
Apple Together also retweeted an expression of support from Cher Scarlett, a former Apple software engineer who became the face of the #AppleToo movement, which was an Apple Together precursor.
Scarlett published a piece on Medium in August alleging that sexual harassment, assault and racism complaints raised to Apple management were repeatedly ignored.
“Frontline workers deserve as much dignity as anyone else, and should be protected above profits,” wrote Scarlett. “I stand with the Apple workers walking out and calling off tomorrow.”
Hers was not the only voice of concern this year at Apple. This summer, Apple employees reportedly began circulating a petition asking company brass for more flexible working conditions.
In November, according to NBC News, a number of employees at a Texas Apple store who were experiencing Covid-like symptoms were encouraged to come in to work for Black Friday. Twenty two of the store’s employees subsequently tested positive for the virus. The store ended up having to close for four days shortly thereafter.
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