Apple has been accused of punishing Apple Store employees for showing support for Palestine

Apple Walnut Street store
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been accused of punishing Apple Store and corporate employees for showing support for Palestine.

More than 300 Apple employees have banded together under the moniker Apples4Ceasefire, penning an open letter that asks CEO Tim Cook to "make it clear that Palestinian lives matter."

Allegedly, Apple's been giving the boot to employees who have been showing support for Palestine through fashion statements like keffiyehs, pins, bracelets, or any attire that shouts out their stance. The letter claims these employees are being marked as creating a "harmful environment" under the company's conduct code.

Feeling "wholly unwelcome within Apple"

Adding a face to the story, former employee Madly Laaibah Espinoza shared her tale of woe. Apparently, donning a keffiyeh at a Chicago Apple Store (despite getting a nod from a team leader that it was not a problem) led to her receiving the cold shoulder from management. The plot thickens when, after being told to ditch the keffiyeh for Palestinian jewelry, she and her supportive colleagues started sporting "save Gaza" accessories. However, Espinoza to find herself jobless soon after – without any written warnings.

Even more intriguing is an anonymous manager's claim that wearing a Kuffiyeh was flagged as a no-go by both their Market Leader and HR, citing safety concerns due to its political implications.

The group's letter pulls no punches, accusing Apple's execs of turning a blind eye to the plight of Palestinians and making it crystal clear that they feel "wholly unwelcome within Apple." They're not just airing their grievances on paper, though. They're planning to take their protest to the streets, right outside the Lincoln Park Apple Store, this Saturday.

Whether this will spur a change in corporate policy or simply add another layer to the ongoing debate on workplace expression and activism remains to be seen.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.