As the company gears up to make the iPhone 6, Apple have come under fire by former workers who claim that they were mistreated.
Worlds away from the cushy and idyllic working conditions of the United States of America is China, where the necessity of worker safety is all but non-existent and the worker protections that many of us know, love and sometimes take advantage of (paid sick days anyone?) are a thing of very hopeful dreams. It’s well documented that the workers at Foxconn’s plants are treated awfully (Foxconn are the company responsible making most of Apple’s gadgets) but surprisingly, some of the biggest instances of worker negligence don’t happen overseas: Apple is reportedly happy to see their American workers mistreated too and now several thousand ex-employees have filed a lawsuit against them to prove it.
Represented by San Diego attorney Tyler J. Belong, one Apple store employee initially filed the lawsuit against Apple in 2011. Backed up by a mixture of Apple store employees and other hourly workers (at the retail and corporate level) for the electronics company, they claimed that not only had Apple denied them breaks, they were also required to miss meals. Oh, and as added insult to injury, when they finally quit – what sounded like a pretty abysmal employment situation – Apple took their sweet time paying their final paychecks too. Finally the lawsuit is getting somewhere though, 3 years down the line, as the California Superior Court has now decided that it’s a class action lawsuit meaning that Apple could face seriously hefty fines in order to pay off these ticked off ex-employees.
Not only does Belong say that the lawsuit could bring about change for the some 20,000 Apple workers within the state of California but it sounds like these changes are needed right away too. While the it’s unsupported by any evidence, it’s worth noting that one response to the story reads as the following, suggesting that Apple has workers’ rights issues up and down the track,
“The contract employees work next to real Apple employees but get treated like indentured servants. They can’t get days off or vacation most of the time. If they request a day off 3 months in advance they are told no. If they make an issue out of it they are labeled as not acting for the best interests of the” team” and are let go.
As explained, it’s unclear if this claim is truthful but if it is, I wouldn’t expect a small payout on this Apple lawsuit to make the entirety of their employment complains go away.
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