Unionized Apple Store scores pay rise for all staff as Apple’s company-wide pay structure is rejected

Apple Glasgow
(Image credit: Apple)

The union representing Apple store workers at the company’s Glasgow outfit in Scotland have voted to reject Apple’s pay model, and say they have scored a pretty major pay victory for all of its staff. 

The Apple Retail Workers Union announced this week that, following negotiations, Apple store workers at the Glasgow store “voted to reject Apple’s pay model and have instead won minimum increases and compensation for all members of staff, as well as improved pay for the majority of staff.” The union says the deal is worth a 7% increase for most workers, and in line with UK public sector increases. 

According to the the union, Apple “wanted to offer no increased compensation for some staff and the union has been able to prevent that.”

A major victory

The news marks one of the first major changes secured by a union against Apple since a wave of unionization gripped stores. According to previous reports, Apple has tried to resist the union movement and was even ordered by a National Labor Relations Board judge to stop “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees" who are trying to form unions. 

In a statement previously, Apple has issued a fairly generic response to union movement stating "We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants, and many other benefits."

The Apple Glasgow store signed a recognition agreement with workers in February. As is often the case with retail unions, pay was a headline issue, and the union claimed it would have the ability to collectively bargain over how pay is distributed. Reps would also be given access to how pay is calculated, as well as consultation on store policy regarding hours, scheduling, and holidays.

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

  • Wotchered
    We know where this one goes, don’t we !
    (Uk centric)
    Reply
  • EdwinG
    That’s great for Apple Retail employees. Good for them!
    Reply
  • FFR
    A 7% raise, that won’t even offset inflation.

    Something tells me the union bosses made out like bandits .
    Reply
  • EdwinG
    FFR said:
    A 7% raise, that won’t even offset inflation.

    Something tells me the union bosses made out like bandits .
    Fact check, it will. Inflation for July 2023 was at 6.4% in the United Kingdom. However, it will barely offset CPI which was at 6.8%.

    The part that I want to know is “what would have Apple offered as an increase for ALL employees should the alternate option been chosen”. Something tells me that it would not have been great, and that we will never know the answer to my own question.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Ed7789 said:
    Fact check, it will. Inflation for July 2023 was at 6.4% in the United Kingdom. However, it will barely offset CPI which was at 6.8%.

    The part that I want to know is “what would have Apple offered as an increase for ALL employees should the alternate option been chosen”. Something tells me that it would not have been great, and that we will never know the answer to my own question.

    Fact check sure.

    “As Figure 2 illustrates, UK inflation has risen sharply over the past year from 0.5% in February 2021 to its current rate of 10.1% in September 2022 – its joint highest rate since the early 1980s.

    The rise in inflation has been predominantly driven by increases in the price of electricity, gas and other fuels, up 70.1% over the year to September, driven by the increase in wholesale gas prices, however rising food prices particularly drove the increase in the rate between August and September.”

    Sure 7% makes all the difference, eh https://www.gov.scot/publications/cost-living-crisis-scotland-analytical-report/pages/2/


    Here is the monthly economic brief for June published in July.
    https://www.gov.scot/publications/monthly-economic-brief-june-2023/
    “Inflation is on a downward trend from its recent peak, however the latest data indicates a greater breadth and persistence of inflationary pressures than expected in recent months. Inflation was unchanged over April and May at 8.7%, with the inflation rate for services strengthening and food price inflation remaining elevated at 18.3%. More broadly, core inflation rose to 7.1%, its highest rate since 1992.”

    You stand corrected, As I said not enough to offset inflation.
    Reply
  • EdwinG
    The numbers you gave doesn’t negate what I said. I don’t know about the UK, but where I live salary increases are given on a yearly basis, always effective on the same date.

    Keeping in mind that inflation is calculated over a given period (a single year). So, the 6.4% inflation for July 2023 reflects the price difference when compared to July 2022. And they are compounded, so they add on top of the preceding period (July 2021 to July 2022).

    Thus, to offset inflation from the same period from 2021 to 2022 (8.8%), one would need to have been granted an equivalent salary increase in September 2022. Anything above would improve your disposable funds.

    There is the harsh reality that to get the best income increase, you must get a job elsewhere. Especially that the increase I have seen was 3% for 2023 (described as “accounting for inflation” for the reference period of January 2022 to January 2023 by my employer at the time; CPI increase was 6.8% in 2022).
    - - -
    Inflation notwithstanding, any person should be able to make a living wage, capable of paying the necessary to stay alive for themselves and their dependents, have a home over their heads, transportation, and occasional leisure activities.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Ed7789 said:
    The numbers you gave doesn’t negate what I said. I don’t know about the UK

    Actually it does and Indeed ed that much is clear, you don’t know.

    You posted inflation figures for the United Kingdom which Scotland is a part of, but that also includes three other countries; England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    I posted Scotlands Core inflation which excludes items frequently subject to price volatility such as food and energy, @ 7.1% which is greater than the 7% increase in pay negotiated by the union of the Scottish Apple Store. If we include food and energy, that number would be even greater.

    As I posted earlier you stand corrected by your inaccurate “fact check” post, that claimed Scottish core inflation is at 6.8%

    By the way the economy and the company’s in it do not increase cost of living expenses once a year .

    So back to my point, the meager 7% increase does not even offset inflation, and I believe the union bosses made out like bandits.
    Reply
  • EdwinG
    You posted inflation figures for the United Kingdom which Scotland is a part of, but that also includes three other countries; England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    You posted a document that refers to the same root source I did, the Office of National Statistics for the UK. It’s right there, in the executive summary.

    The difference is the period of reference they used. February 2021 to September 2022; I used July 2022 to July 2023 (which are the most recent available numbers).

    Also, I’m not able to find any inflation numbers specific to Scotland on their own statistics website. Be my guest if you can find them; I want numbers from an official statistics office.

    FFR said:
    I posted Scotlands Core inflation which excludes items frequently subject to price volatility such as food and energy, @ 7.1% which is greater than the 7% increase in pay negotiated by the union of the Scottish Apple Store. If we include food and energy, that number would be even greater.
    CPI is the index that takes into account food and energy.

    I really argued on the core inflation number, while mentioning that CPI was indeed higher.
    FFR said:
    As I posted earlier you stand corrected by your inaccurate “fact check” post, that claimed Scottish core inflation is at 6.8%
    I said that inflation was at 6.4% from July 2022 to July 2023, CPI was at 6.8% for that same period.
    FFR said:
    By the way the economy and the company’s in it do not increase cost of living expenses once a year .
    It’s all a cycle, and we can both agree that the increase doesn’t occur once a year. It occurs much frequently, I would even say daily.

    What we have is a snapshot looking at the preceding year. That’s what we have to work with, and salary increase - which occurs once a year.

    But companies DO have impact on the purchasing power. They are all parts of the same economy, and they all will try to balance their revenues and expenses to make money - that includes salaries. At a very high level, as a factor among many others, if it costs them more, they will pass it on to their own customers, who will pass it on to theirs, and so on and until the end consumer. The consumer will then will need more money to buy the same good, so they will need a raise from their employer who will need to include it in their balance sheet, and the cycle perpetuates.

    Then there is supply and demand, but that’s a completely different factor.

    Inflation (and CPI) has so many factors, and every actor in the economy has an impact on it.

    - - -
    Edit: I didn’t address the union argument by choice. I can’t find any earnings numbers for Scotland or the UK that compares earnings between a unionized and a non-unionized person. The numbers I do have are Canadian, and might not apply here at all.
    Reply
  • FFR
    Ed7789 said:
    You posted a document that refers to the same root source I did, the Office of National Statistics for the UK. It’s right there, in the executive summary.

    The difference is the period of reference they used. February 2021 to September 2022; I used July 2022 to July 2023 (which are the most recent available numbers).

    Also, I’m not able to find any inflation numbers specific to Scotland on their own statistics website. Be my guest if you can find them; I want numbers from an official statistics office.


    CPI is the index that takes into account food and energy.

    I really argued on the core inflation number, while mentioning that CPI was indeed higher.

    I said that inflation was at 6.4% from July 2022 to July 2023, CPI was at 6.8% for that same period.

    It’s all a cycle, and we can both agree that the increase doesn’t occur once a year. It occurs much frequently, I would even say daily.

    What we have is a snapshot looking at the preceding year. That’s what we have to work with, and salary increase - which occurs once a year.

    But companies DO have impact on the purchasing power. They are all parts of the same economy, and they all will try to balance their revenues and expenses to make money - that includes salaries. At a very high level, as a factor among many others, if it costs them more, they will pass it on to their own customers, who will pass it on to theirs, and so on and until the end consumer. The consumer will then will need more money to buy the same good, so they will need a raise from their employer who will need to include it in their balance sheet, and the cycle perpetuates.

    Then there is supply and demand, but that’s a completely different factor.

    Inflation (and CPI) has so many factors, and every actor in the economy has an impact on it.

    Check the both the links I provided their from the Scottish government website. They might come from the same source but they are different values, or is that too difficult to comprehend.

    Perhaps you can email the Scottish office of statistics yourself, otherwise I will use the numbers they provided on their website.

    Regardless That still doesn’t change the fact that your source for inflation and the consumer price index includes 3 additional countries that will skew the cpi and core inflation numbers. Which makes it inaccurate as a gauge for Scotland. No matter how many times you wish to double down or provide excuses as to your mistake.

    Inflation corresponds to the reduction of purchasing power almost always due to the printing of more currency which in turn causes the cpi to increase generally decreasing each unit of currency value and ability to purchase goods and services. Ergo since private and public companies do not control the printing of currency they are not responsible for inflation ie “impacting purchasing power”, no matter how much you want to conflate the matter. The government is directly responsible for any “impact” not private or public companies that may have to make adjustment due to the governments failures.

    Honestly this is rudimentary finance ed, I don’t know why your are having difficulties understanding it.
    Reply
  • EdwinG
    FFR said:
    Perhaps you can email the Scottish office of statistics yourself
    I will, because it might be interesting to know for this discussion. I’ll let you know once I have a reply.

    FFR said:
    The government is directly responsible for any “impact” not private or public companies that may have to make adjustment due to the governments failures.
    A government is not solely responsible for inflation. That’s a really easy and convenient shortcut to make.

    The government will enact policies that are needed at a given time, and support the economy and their population when needed.

    It is true that they’re not always perfect. But you have to make do with the indicators you have at any given time.

    FFR said:
    Inflation corresponds to the reduction of purchasing power almost always due to the printing of more currency which in turn causes the cpi to increase generally decreasing each unit of currency value and ability to purchase goods and services. Ergo since private and public companies do not control the printing of currency they are not responsible for inflation ie “impacting purchasing power”
    Except that they are, at least in part.

    In example, the cost of a car that a company might need to do deliveries to their customers, or an individual to get to work (sadly) has increased because the demand rose, while the available supply didn’t follow. Result: the prices exploded. That’s not the government’s fault at all, but it still has an impact on inflation. And examples like that, they exist in several sectors of the economy.

    Ultimately, everyone’s an actor in this, whether it’s the government, entreprises or consumers. And by extension, everyone has an impact.
    Reply