In a new development, more than 100 people protested in Apple’s Cupertino campus demanding better working conditions and better pay from the company. The group of protesters included civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, and this vigil was a fallout to the disparity in treatment of Silicon Valley contract laborers, San Jose Mercury News reports. Also Read - Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' job application sold for over Rs 2.5 croreAlso Read - Apple iOS 15, iPadOS 15 beta 4 released: What’s new, how to download
The main issue here is the difference of pay between contractors and skilled labor in tech companies across Bay area. The report states that Apple’s security contractor Security Industry Specialists pays employees $19.77 per hour, not including benefits, which it claims is not enough to offset the area’s high cost of living. Also Read - Apple shines in June quarter, posts record sales for iPhones, Macs and iPads
Protesting in the campus, Jackson and the crowd repeatedly shouted, “We marvel at the growth of high tech and biotech, but we are the foundation. We fight today in the rain for job security and justice.” The protesters even held sign boards saying ‘Apple dodges taxes, we pay the price’.
The protesters were a part of regional union United Service Workers West. Even in November, they pushed Apple to stand up for rights of contract workers like security guards. Later in the day, the protesters hand delivered a petition signed by 20,000 people demanding better service worker rights. This protest is relying on Apple to be the forerunner in this change, so that other companies in Silicon Valley like Google and Facebook adopt it too.
The report also states that Art Pulaski, executive treasurer and secretary of the California Labor Federation, was also a part of the protest. Using the iconic Apple advertising campaign, he bellowed, “It’s time for Apple to think different.”
This isn t the first time Apple or one of its partners is feeling the heat from laborers. Last year, Apple’s manufacturing partner Pegatron was in the spotlight for anguished workers complaining of long working hours and withholding of work ID and salaries. A year before that, Foxconn, another Apple manufacturing partner, was said to be under investigation by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). CEO Tim Cook had then said, We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers.