Apple Store employees raise concerns about working conditions amid latest wave of COVID-19 pandemic

Apple Store employees raise concerns about working conditions amid latest wave of COVID-19 pandemic

January 10, 2022 0 By Filipe Espósito

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Apple Store employees raise concerns about working conditions amid latest wave of COVID-19 pandemic

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2021 wasn’t an easy year for Apple when it comes to the relationship with its employees, as some of them have publicly decided to demand better working conditions. However, this doesn’t only affect corporate positions. 9to5Mac has learned that the situation for employees in Apple Retail Stores is not the best either, as they complain about working conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last few days, 9to5Mac has received reports from employees of the two Apple Retail Stores in Brazil, which are located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. These reports mention how Apple has been neglecting the pandemic situation to keep stores open for customers even as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased considerably in recent months.

While Apple says it usually shuts down a store when 10% of staff members test positive for COVID-19, an Apple Store manager who prefers to remain anonymous mentions how overwhelmed employees are, since at least 25% of the team in their store is currently on leave due to testing positive for COVID-19 and exposure to COVID-19.

Another report from an Apple Store leader complains about how the company has been softening control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its stores located in Brazil. While employees are concerned about the situation, the problem seems to go much deeper than that.

9to5Mac heard that the company told its Brazilian employees behind closed doors that they should avoid Holiday’s celebrations and other gatherings “so as not to impact the store’s operation.” Employees at both stores feel afraid to report COVID-19 cases as they’re worried about being fired after such claims.

The employees complain about invasion of privacy as their leaders keep warning them about what they can and cannot do in their private moments. They also criticize the company for pay inequality and inadequate salary as some of them have been working in multiple roles at once since the beginning of the pandemic, but their salaries have never been adjusted upwards.

Apple Morumbi (in São Paulo) reduced its opening hours this week, while Apple VillageMall (in Rio de Janeiro) continues to operate normally. In December 2021, Apple closed all its retail stores in New York City, as well as stores in other cities across the US and Canada.

Apple said in a statement last year that it is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that its customers and employees are safe, but it’s unclear why some stores remain open when several employees are laid off after testing positive for COVID-19.

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About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.

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