Unions representing Apple’s employees in France have taken a stand by calling for a strike just days before the highly-anticipated iPhone 15 launch. This move comes as workers demand improvements in their compensation and working conditions.
Paris, France – As the tech world eagerly anticipates the launch of the iPhone 15, a strike by Apple’s workforce in France is raising concerns about the company’s labor relations. Workers affiliated with multiple unions, including CGT, Unsa, CFDT, and Cidre-CFTC, have jointly called for a two-day strike, set to take place on September 22 and 23, coinciding with the iPhone 15’s release.
The strike has also had a knock-on effect on Apple’s supply chain, with some suppliers reportedly delaying shipments of components to the company’s manufacturing plants in China. This could lead to shortages of iPhones and other Apple products in the coming weeks.
The company has so far resisted calls for major changes to its labor practices, but the strike in France could put further pressure on Apple to address the concerns of its employees.
So, what are the employees asking for?
The primary demands of the striking workers revolve around pay and hiring practices. The unions have requested a 7% wage increase to combat the effects of inflation and an end to the ongoing hiring freeze. However, Apple’s management has been hesitant to meet these demands, offering a maximum hike of 4.5%, according to union officials.
In a statement posted on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), CGT Apple Retail expressed their frustration with management, stating, “Management having decided to ignore our perfectly legitimate demands and concerns, the four unions of Apple Retail France… call for a strike on Sept. 22 and 23.” The strike call has also received support from representatives of Apple France’s corporate division and Apple’s Barcelona team in Spain.
To emphasize their message, the unions have called on workers to participate in a demonstration on Friday morning at Opera Garnier, located adjacent to Apple’s flagship store in Paris. It’s worth noting that Apple operates a total of 20 stores in France, with nine in the Paris region alone, including three in central Paris, and two in Lyon. Other cities with Apple stores include Marseille, Lille, and Strasbourg.
A CGT Apple Retail union official highlighted the frustration of workers, stating, “On Tuesday, we had a teleconference meeting with Apple’s European bosses. They basically said ‘you are doing pretty well, do not complain.’”
This strike comes on the heels of a recent decision by the French government to suspend sales of iPhone 12 handsets due to alleged breaches of radiation exposure limits. Apple responded by promising to update the software on iPhone 12s in France to resolve the issue. However, concerns in other European countries suggest that similar actions may be necessary elsewhere.
As the strike unfolds, it raises questions about the impact on Apple’s operations in France and the potential for further labor disputes in the tech giant’s global workforce. Apple’s response to these demands and the resolution of the strike will be closely monitored, with potential implications for the company’s image and its relationship with its employees.