Apple workers complain to US Labour Watchdog

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Two employee complaints against Apple are being considered by the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The one alleges that there was retaliation when safety concerns were raised, and the other is concerned with alleged suppression questions regarding pay equity.

Apple declined to comment in detail on specific cases but said it would investigate any concerns.

These complaints are coming as an online campaign claims it has received over 600 reports of workplace problems.

The NLRB is an independent US agency which protects the rights of private sector employees to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, and to prevent unfair labour practices.

Before deciding whether or not to proceed, it will review the “Charge against Employer” filings.

These charges were brought to the attention of the NLRB Oakland office on 26 August, and 1 September respectively.

Equal pay

Cher Scarlett (Apple software engineer), filed the 1 September complaint. She claims that workers tried to organize but were prevented from doing so by the company.

According to Ms Scarlett’s filings (which were seen by BBC), Apple has repeatedly blocked employees from asking questions and discussing pay.

These surveys were designed to examine pay equity issues.

According to the complaint, Apple HR has stopped making “multiple attempts” at gathering wage data from employees over the last five months.

Further, Apple is accused of engaging in suppressive and coercive activities that enabled harassment and abuse of organizers of protected concerted action.

Appletoo

Together with industry colleagues, Ms Scarlett launched Appletoo to demand systematic change in the workplace.

The website states that “We share a spot on Directory but we don’t get the same treatment and aren’t given equal rights.”

This site invites former Apple employees and current Apple employees to tell their stories to highlight discrimination and harassment, as well as to promote change.

Recently, Ms Scarlett began publishing five stories per day from some of her responses to Medium’s online publishing platform.

In an email to the BBC, she stated that the BBC has received over 600 stories so far. A third of the stories have been shared anonymously by about a third.

She says that support is being built internally and externally to promote culture change at Apple.

The 26 August filing was made by Ashley Gjovik, a senior engineering program manager at Apple, according to the Reuters news agency.

According to the news agency, Ms. Gjovick complained about harassment from a manager and reduced responsibilities, as well as increased unfavorable work.

In March, she raised concerns that her office was unsafe because of chemical contamination. As a result, she claims that she was subject to retaliation.

In her letter to the NLRB, the Financial Times reports, Ms Gjovick alleges that she was “intimidated” not to speak about her safety concerns.

Apple stated to the BBC that it was deeply committed “to creating and maintaining positive workplace environments.”

We take every concern seriously, and do thorough investigations whenever one is raised. However, to respect the privacy of all individuals, we don’t discuss employee specifics.

Publited at Fri, 3 Sep 2021 18:11:42 +0000

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