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Apple pay rises are a pay cut after inflation, says UK union


A union representing some UK retail store staff says that Apple pay raises awarded recently actually amount to a pay cut after inflation is factored in.

The union noted that Apple’s revenue and profit both rose dramatically last year and also pointed to the increase in Tim Cook’s compensation.

Background

We first learned of retail staff plans to unionize back in February, when groups at two stores were reportedly preparing paperwork to file with the National Labor Relations Board, with about six more locations at earlier stages of planning.

We saw a formal start to the process at Apple’s flagship Grand Central Terminal store in New York, with a number of goals for a better deal for staff. This was followed by similar moves in Atlanta and Maryland.

Apple responded with a carrot-and-stick approach. The stick was an aggressive claim that unionization could slow, rather than accelerate, change – so aggressive that two complaints of illegal union-busting have been filed. The carrot was the announcement of pay raises and other improvements in working conditions for retail staff.

The unionization movement has also crossed the Atlantic, with some UK Apple Store workers joining one of two unions.

Apple has responded with a carrot-and-stick approach, announcing pay raises for staff while warning of the consequences of unionization.

Most Apple pay raises are below inflation, says union

Part of Apple’s response was bringing forward planned pay raises. The average pay raise was reported to be 10%.

However, with high inflation in the UK and other countries, the United Tech & Allied Workers (UTAW) union said that these amounts to a real-terms pay cut.

This year most of us at Apple, specifically those who work in Apple Stores, received below inflation raises cuts to our pay in real terms.

Consumer Price Index up 9.4%
Retail Price Index up 11.8%

We’re not asking for much, just to keep our pay in line with inflation. If a raise was below the above numbers, it wasn’t a raise, it was a cut.

No we’re not teachers, postal workers, nurses, train drivers, but we do help to keep people connected, help them get their work done, and fix people’s phones when they break. People rely on us every day, and our employer can afford to do better.

2021:
Apple’s revenue up 33%
CEO’s pay up 600%

APPLE RETAIL UK LTD alone saw a turnover of £972m with profits up 24% in a pandemic year.
There’s NO EXCUSE for Apple not to pay its frontline staff fairly, in this economy or any other.

The claim is based on a poll of just 44 staff but is consistent with reports of average increases for Apple staff in general.

Apple workers are starting to receive our annual pay increases – imagine a not-to-distant future where we’re able to collectively negotiate our pay. So what did you get this year?

  • Greater than inflation: 22.7%
  • Equal to inflation: 11.4%
  • Less than inflation: 54.5%
  • No raise at all: 11.4%

Of course, the situation is not uncommon at present, with workers at many other companies receiving either below-inflation raises or no raise at all.

Photo: Emil Kalibradov/Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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