A group of Apple Inc. employees announced Thursday that they would be staging a walkout on Christmas Eve, and implored the public to not buy their products on that day.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the employees, represented by a group called Apple Together, said they were staging the December 24 walkout to « demand better working conditions. »
Although the number of employees who are planning to protest is unclear, the Twitter post urged consumers to stand in solidarity with workers across Apple.
« Don’t cross the picket line! » the statement read. « We are Apple. We deserve a respectful workplace. We deserve paid sick time. We deserve protection on the frontlines. We deserve proper mental healthcare. »
« Demand that Apple upholds its image with your wallet. Don’t shop in stores, don’t shop online, » the statement continued.
The tweet also contained a link for the striking employees to access an emergency fund for tech workers. The fund, which provides stipends of up to $5,000, is meant for employees at Apple and Netflix who have shed light on workplace conditions.
While it was reported that many executive-level Apple employees will be on holiday vacation on December 24, many retail workers are still scheduled to work at Apple stores across the country.
The planned walkout comes amidst rapid calls for change within Apple’s workplace culture. The tech giant’s employees made headlines in August when they organized the social media hashtag #AppleToo to shed light on what they stated were « hundreds of stories of racism, sexism, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment, and sexual assault. »
This resulted in over 500 responses from current and former workers who ended up sharing their personal anecdotes.
« For too long, Apple has evaded public scrutiny, » the #AppleToo organizers stated. « The truth is that for many Apple workers – a reality faced disproportionately by our Black, Indigenous, and other colleagues from minoritized racial, gender, and historically marginalized groups of people – the culture of secrecy creates an opaque, intimidating fortress. »
The #AppleToo organizers, who The Verge reported comprised « only about 15 current and former Apple employees, » stated that they had gone through a number of internal channels at the company with no results.
Apple Together is not the only group demanding a look into the company’s practices.
A recent proposal from a group of Apple shareholders asked the company to conduct a civil rights audit of the business amidst reports of pay inequities and racial inequality among the top corporate brass.
Apple’s 2020 diversity report noted that the company’s leadership was only four percent Black and eight percent Hispanic, with the largest portion of Apple workers being white.
« Given the importance of gender and racial equality, having this level of review is not only appropriate but highly beneficial, » stated Jonas Kron, the head of one of the investment groups pushing for the audit.
The U.S. National Labor Board is also reportedly investigating at least two complaints that have been filed by Apple employees.
Newsweek has reached out to Apple for comment.
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