They rake in billions, have over $200 billion in cash reserves yet they treat their staff as criminals claim Apple workers.
The US PC giant who are currently being investigated by the
ATO for using offshore tax minimisation schemes are facing another revolt from
Apple staff for their policy of checking retail employees’ bags as a security
precaution but expecting them to absorb the cost of the exercise.
At least two Apple retail store workers have complained
directly to chief executive Tim Cook that the company’s policy of checking
retail employees’ bags as a security precaution was embarrassing and demeaning,
according to a court filing recently made public.
The employee complaints, which a judge ordered unsealed, are
part of a 2013 lawsuit alleging Apple should compensate employees for the time
it takes to conduct the searches. One worker, whose name was blacked out of the
court filing, told Cook in a 2012 message that Apple managers “are
required to treat ‘valued’ employees as criminals”.
Cook forwarded it to top retail and human resources
executives with the query: “Is this true?”
Fairfax Media claim that the lawsuit, plaintiffs Amanda
Friekin and Dean Pelle alleged that “screenings” or bag searches,
designed to discourage theft, are conducted every time sales reps leave the
store, including for meal breaks. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for
the Northern District of California, seeks class action status. Lawsuits from
within Apple’s ranks are rare.
In the 2012 email to Cook, with a subject line
“Fearless Feedback from Apple Retail Specialist”, the employee said
Apple’s policy implies the company does not trust its workers.
“These procedures are often performed in front of
gawking customers,” the employee wrote, adding that workers deserve to be
treated with the same respect that Apple shows customers.
Another email, sent by a retail worker in Beijing to Cook
and other managers in 2013, said Apple treats its employees “as
animals” and thieves. It also said an emergency exit in the store is
blocked by Apple products.