Some Apple Employees Are Walking Out on Christmas Eve to Demand Better Working Conditions

Some Apple Employees Are Walking Out on Christmas Eve to Demand Better Working Conditions
Photo: Christopher Jue, Getty Images

A group of Apple employees announced that they were staging a walkout on Christmas Eve to demand better working conditions and urged the public not to shop in stores or online on Friday.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, workers in the Apple Together group, which is composed of employees in the company’s retail, corporate, and AppleCare divisions, asked for paid sick leave and proper mental healthcare, among other demands. The group appears to be an extension of the #AppleToo movement, which formed to collect stories from employees at all levels at Apple who have experienced harassment or discrimination.

“We are Apple. We deserve a respectful workplace. We deserve paid sick time. We deserve protection on the frontlines. We deserve proper mental healthcare,” the workers wrote.

Although organisers said strike funds were available for participants of the walkout, the emergency fund they linked to is only accepting waitlist applications for stipends.

Gizmodo reached out Apple for comment on the walkout and the workers’ demands but did not receive a response by the time of publication. We’ll make sure to update this article if we hear back.

It was not immediately clear how many employees would be participating in the walkout on Friday, the last day for customers to buy presents before Christmas day, when Apple Stores will be closed. Some former Apple employees applauded the effort on social media and alleged that working at the company’s stores caused them to experience extreme stress, burnout, and harassment from customers.

If workers from Apple Together do indeed walk out on Friday, the protest would be yet another example of rising activism and pushback from the company’s employees. In addition to the #AppleToo movement, in June a group of employees wrote a letter to CEO Tim Cook and the executive team asking them to support those who want to continue to work remotely. Apple essentially denied that request and proceeded with plans to launch a hybrid work pilot in February 2022.

Nonetheless, the company recently delayed the launch of its pilot in light of the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus and has said its return to the office date is “yet to be determined.”