Apple Sees a Surge in Worker Activism as Two Employees Complain to the US Labor Agency

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 3 Sep 2021

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It is no secret that Apple is battling worker activism. Apple employees have taken the next step and filed charges against the company. Now a US national labor agency is investigating the charges.

Apple employees filed the charges on Aug 26 and Sep 1. Both the charges are currently being reviewed by the US National Labor Relations Boards office in Oakland, California. That apart, the agency has not revealed much, and the details are kept under the wraps.

A senior engineering program manager at Apple, Ashley Gjovik, told Reuters that she filed charges on Aug 26. The employee claims that she was harassed by a manager who reduced her responsibilities and assigned unfavorable work. Furthermore, the employee has also levied other complaints against Apple.

Apple responded to the allegations with a statement that reads as follows “We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised.” Meanwhile, Char Scarlett, an Apple software engineer, filed another complaint on Sep 1. She alleges that Apple curbed discussion of pay among the employees. The complaint claimed Apple “engaged in coercive and suppressive activity that has enabled abuse and harassment of organizers of protected concerted activity.”

Our Take

The labor agency could launch a probe if it finds merit in the complaints. Some former and current Apple employees have criticized the company for its secretive culture. Employees are using #AppleToo on Twitter to highlight hundreds of workplace issue at Apple. US law allows employees to discuss working conditions and other work-related topics openly.

That apart, Apple employees have reportedly sparked a heated debate concerning the new CSAM feature. Some employees are not happy with Apple’s controversial child safety feature that scans photos for detecting and reporting CSAM content.

[via Reuters]