In brief: Some Apple Store workers are trying to hide their plans to unionize from the company by using Android phones, according to a recent report. The employees have opted for the rival devices instead of their iPhones over fears that bosses could snoop on conversations.
The Washington Post reports that Apple staff at stores across the country are pushing to unionize, a move that stems from wages---between $17 and over $30 per hour---failing to increase alongside inflation. Groups from at least two stores are backed by major national unions and are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), writes the publication, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Employees have been meeting in secret and communicating using encrypted messaging services to avoid detection by managers. They sometimes use phones with operating systems from iOS rival Android, rather than their iPhones, to prevent the possibility that Apple might somehow be monitoring the devices. Apple, of course, has always been vocal about respecting the privacy of its users.
One worker said managers have already begun trying to convince employees that unionizing would be a bad idea, leading to lower wages and Apple being forced to remove benefits. The company has attempted to convince staff not to pursue their plans by offering raises, but some received less than an extra $1 per hour.
"I have a lot of co-workers and friends who I genuinely love and they do not make enough to get by," one Apple Store labor organizer said. "They're struggling and they're hurting and we work for a company that has the resources to make sure that they're taken care of."
Apple is the world's largest company by market capitalization with a valuation of $2.6 trillion, putting it ahead of the other $2 trillion+ members, Saudi Aramco and third-place Microsoft. Google parent Alphabet is in fourth place with a valuation of $1.71 trillion.
In other Apple news, the company's flagship store in Amsterdam was the scene of a hostage incident yesterday that ended when the suspect was hit by a police car while escaping.