WSJ: Apple to do right by its janitors

From Tripp Mickle’s “Apple Commits to Paying Contractors After Some Were Told They’d Lose Work” ($) in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal:

Hundreds of Apple contract workers at its Silicon Valley campus were told in recent days that their jobs would be suspended without pay as the tech giant curtails work at the offices amid the coronavirus outbreak. But on Monday, a company spokeswoman said Apple plans to pay the hourly workers.

The tech giant, which has more than $200 billion in cash and cash equivalents, has hundreds of contractors who work as janitors, bus drivers and perform other functions on its campus. Contractors representing about three-fourths of the unionized janitors began this weekend telling workers they would lose wages and health-care benefits, according to Denise Solis, SEIU-United Service Workers West, a union that represents about 11,000 janitors in Northern California.

Chief Executive Tim Cook had assured Apple employees in a March email that the company would continue to pay hourly workers even after closing its retail stores around the world. Mr. Cook didn’t specify whether Apple would pay hourly contract workers.

On Monday, in response to an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal, a spokeswoman said the janitors’ pay would continue. “We’re working with all of our suppliers to ensure hourly workers such as janitorial staff are being paid during this difficult time,” spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said after the Journal’s inquiry about the job elimination notices.

My take: Kudos to Tripp Mickle for making that call, but when it comes to contract workers, Apple still has a ways to go.

See also: A shout-out to the people who clean Apple’s floors

One Comment

  1. Fred Stein said:
    The full WSJ article has this contrasting view from one of the contracting companies.

    “The bus company’s Chief Executive Matt Brown said Apple committed in mid-March to paying the wages of about 140 drivers, maintenance and operations employees.

    “We’ve been told to bill this month and future months,” said Mr. Brown, while adding that he doesn’t communicate with other transportation providers and couldn’t comment on Apple’s communication with them.”

    Is this issue more than mis-communication?

    Also curious about the all the contract workers for all of Apple’s retail outlets.

    April 1, 2020

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