Apple’s retail employees are reportedly using Android phones and encrypted chats to keep unionization plans secret

Inflation is disrupting operations at the world’s biggest company

Apple may be the world’s largest company with a market cap of almost $ 3 trillion, but its retail workers seem to hardly benefit from all that success, according to the latest reports. As a result, employees at several Apple Stores across the US are secretly working to unionize based on issues surrounding their take-home pay.

The dissent has seen employees of at least two US Apple Stores garner support from national unions on their way to making submissions to the National Labor Relations Board, per sources speaking to The Washington Post. What’s more, another six locations are supposedly at less-advanced stages in the unionization process.


Apple’s hourly rates are consistent with what other retailers pay in the same regions, but the animosity comes from the fact that most of those other companies do not earn nearly as much as the tech giant. Rising inflation and housing prices across the country are impacting unionization decisions, too, and many of the workers feel like their hourly wages are not keeping pace. The pro-union workers spoke to the media outlet in confidence, not yet wanting to let out their identities to avoid possible retaliation from Apple. To avoid eavesdropping by store managers and ensure they remain anonymous, the said employees have also reportedly been using encrypted chats and even Android phones.

Apple has more than 270 locations in the United States alone and employs over 65,000 retail workers. The company is known for its loyal customers and employees alike and has seen astonishing growth in recent years. It generated over $ 365 billion in revenue for the twelve months leading up to September 30, 2021 – a 33% increase year-over-year. The company did say that it plans to increase retail employees’ pay by between 2% and 10% “depending on the store location and role,” according to Bloomberg, and will double the number of sick days offered for both full-time and part -time employees, along with increases to vacation day allotments and paid parental leave up to six weeks.

The retail employees’ fight for unionization was reportedly inspired by recent wins at several Starbucks stores around the US, which started at a store in Buffalo, New York and has since spread to nearly 100 stores across the country.

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