Apple store workers get surprise pay rise as union pressure grows

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What you need to know

  • Apple employees in the U.S. are getting a pay rise.
  • The company plans to increase its hourly pay for workers to $22 an hour, or even more in some markets.
  • Starting salaries are also expected to increase as several retail stores are attempting to form unions.

Apple is increasing pay for staff in the U.S. for both hourly workers and salaried employees in the face of growing pressure from emerging unions in some of its retail stores.

WSJ reports:

Apple Inc. is boosting pay for workers amid rising inflation, a tight labor market and unionization pushes among hourly store employees.

The company reportedly told employees on Wednesday that it is increasing its overall compensation budget, and that starting hourly rates for workers in the U.S. will be raised to $22, or more in some markets. It follows a rise in February in which Apple cited a tightening labor market and inflation, as well as complaints from staff about working conditions.

A spokesperson for Apple this week said:

"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."

The WSJ report says that Apple has moved up the annual review of some employees by three months to bring the pay rise forward, with increases to take effect in July. As the report notes, Apple employees usually get an annual review at the end of Apple's financial year in the fall, around about the time the company rolls out its latest best iPhone, which this year is set to be the iPhone 14.

Apple is facing increasing pressure from several retail stores, with four now publicly declaring their plans to form unions in order to establish better working conditions. In a leaked video on Wednesday, Apple's VP of people and retail, Deirdre O'Brien, was heard talking down unions to employees stating, "I'm worried about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship, an organization that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business... And most importantly, one that I do not believe shares our commitment to you."

O'Brien told employees in the video that a union would make it more difficult for Apple to improve working conditions for employees.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9