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Apple announces flexible working hours for retail staff due to unionization efforts: report

Apple will make retail staff flexible working hours amid push for unionization, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing sources.

The company has told employees at some stores that the schedule changes will take effect in the coming months, the statement said, citing employees. The changes will include an increase in the minimum time period between shifts to 12 hours from 10 hours.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The iPhone maker told Reuters last week that it would increase the pay of its US employees to $22 (roughly Rs. 1,700) an hour or more.

The Cupertino, California-based company known for its low-key culture was criticized online last year for its working conditions by some current and former employees.

In April, employees at Apple’s Atlanta store filed a union election petition, aiming to become the company’s first U.S. store to unite unions amid a wave of labor activism at other large firms.

Meanwhile, Microsoft said Thursday it will not resist unionization efforts by its employees as it recognizes their legal right to choose whether to form or join a union.

The announcement comes days after Apple raised the pay of its U.S. hourly employees as companies grapple with labor market pressures, a surge in unionization efforts and rising inflation.

Starting wages for hourly workers in the United States will rise to $22 (roughly Rs. 1,700) or more depending on the market, up 45 percent from 2018 levels, Apple said in a statement to Reuters.

“This year, as part of our annual performance review process, we are increasing our overall compensation budget,” a company spokesperson said.

Apple has told some workers that their annual checks will be moved forward by three months, with the new payroll going into effect in early July, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the compensation changes.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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