Friday, August 12, 2022

Apple raises wages for workers during inflation, union push

Apple is raising wages for its employees as inflation lowers wages in a tight labor market – and as the iPhone maker faces a broader unionization push in its retail stores.

The tech giant said it would raise its minimum starting hourly wage rate for workers to $22 — a 10% increase over the previous year. The starting hourly wage may be higher in select areas, according to the company.

The starting salary for Apple’s corporate employees is also reportedly expected to increase.

“Supporting and retaining the best team members in the world enables us to deliver the best, most innovative, products and services for our customers,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “As part of our annual performance review process this year, we are increasing our overall compensation budget.”

An Apple representative did not immediately return a request for further comment.

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Apple is facing increasing unionization among its retail employees.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

With the nationwide unemployment rate at just 3.6 per cent, companies across sectors are scrambling to keep workers happy through wage hikes and other perks. Jobs opportunities hit a record 11.55 million in March, and the number of Americans leaving jobs hit an all-time high.

Apple and other companies are also aiming to keep workers’ compensation in line with inflation, which reached 8.3% in April and remains high despite the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to slash prices.

Apple’s announcement followed a similar move by Microsoft, which said it would nearly double its compensation budget this year.

Apple Store
Apple and other companies have raised wages and benefits in a tight labor market.
AFP via Getty Images

Apple revealed its plans to raise pay as retail workers in states like Georgia and New York move forward with unionizing efforts. In February, Apple confirmed that it would offer more vacation time and sick days for its retail employees, after some people complained about their benefits.

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Last month, organizers of Apple’s store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal said they had voted to become an affiliate of labor group Workers United and were collecting signatures to form a union. The group said they were demanding a $30 minimum hourly wage for all workers.

At the time, an Apple spokesperson noted that the minimum hourly rate for retail employees was $20, reflecting the company’s old pay scale. Apple operates more than 270 retail stores in the US and has tens of thousands of retail employees.

And earlier this month, Apple said it would delay a requirement that its corporate employees work onsite at least three days a week. Some employees had reportedly pushed back on the office-to-office push.

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Nation World News Desk
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