As inflation levels continue to rise and with retail labor union drives around the country, Apple is increasing its starting hourly wage from $20 to $22 an hour for retail workers.
Meanwhile, Apple's Vice President of Retail Deirdre O'Brien sent a video to all of Apple's 58,000 retail employees yesterday, saying that if workers unionize, Apple may have more difficulty improving worker conditions.
“Apple moves incredibly fast,” she can be heard saying in the leaked video. “And I worry that, because the union would bring its own legally mandated rules that would determine how we work through issues, it could make it harder for us to act swiftly to address things that you raise.”
Apple also watermarked the video, presumably so that any copies would identify which store it was leaked from.
As of today, Apple retail workers in Louisville joined retail workers in New York City, Atlanta and Towson, Maryland, in announcing union drives. No Apple retail workers have won a union election at any of the company's 272 retail stores in the U.S., but their push comes in the wake of a growing labor union movement within the retail and tech sectors, most prominently involving Starbucks and Amazon warehouse workers.
Apple announced the pay raise in the wake of growing employer concerns nationally around worker retention and satisfaction brought about by low unemployment, high inflation and this growing union push. Apple corporate employees have also pushed back vocally against the company's return-to-office plans.
“Supporting and retaining the best team members in the world enables us to deliver the best, most innovative products and services for our customers ...This year as part of our annual performance review process, we’re increasing our overall compensation budget," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.