A group of Apple employees have accused the tech giant of racism for pushing corporate employees back into the office, saying that returning to a personal model would make the company smaller and whiter. [and] Male dominated.
The employees, who are organized under the newly formed group Apple Together, petitioned the company Friday in an open letter after CEO Tim Cook told employees they would need to work from the office one day a week starting April 11, and two days a week. Three weeks later, three days a week after May 23.
They wrote that the decision to bring employees back into the office was not motivated by a “need to communicate personally,” as Cook wrote in his letter to employees, but was driven by the company’s fear of the future of the work, and a fear of worker independence. [and] Fear of losing control.
Although Apple will “always likely find people willing to work here,” the group wrote, returning to work in the office will change the configuration of the company. [the company’s workforce]”.
“This will lead to perks that determine who can work for Apple, not who will be the best,” the group wrote.
Perks such as “being born in the right place so you don’t have to move”, “being young enough to start a new life in a new city/country” or “having a husband at home who will make a move with you”.
And perks like being born into a gender that society doesn’t expect the majority of care work from, so it’s easy to disappear into the office all day, without doing your fair share of unpaid work in society. Or being wealthy enough to pay others to do the caring work for you.
Rather than “spend money on the issue and only increase referral bonuses to replace the bonuses of our colleagues who have left the inflexibility of the executive team,” the group is calling for continuing with the remote working model so that everyone who wants to work at Apple can do so.
There has been a marked uptick in diversity at Apple amid the pandemic, although it’s unclear if this is driven by the company’s shift to remote work.
In 2014, the company’s workforce was made up of 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women, but those percentages have changed — according to Apple’s 2022 Inclusion and Diversity Report, 65.2 percent of the workforce is now male and 34.8 percent of females.
Apple’s leadership saw an 87 percent increase in female employees worldwide, the company boasted, and the total female workforce grew 89 percent.
The company hired more minorities than ever before in 2021 — 25% of Apple’s leadership roles and 41% of retail jobs were held by black and Hispanic workers.
Pictured is Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. CEO Tim Cook announced that employees will return to the office one day a week starting April 11, then gradually increase to three days a week starting May 23
Although Apple will “always likely find people willing to work here,” the group wrote, returning to work in the office will change the configuration of the company. [the company’s workforce]Pictured here are people walking near an Apple retail store in New York City
However, Apple Together’s concerns extend to past diversity – the group has identified five additional reasons for their displeasure with the company’s return to personal work.
They lamented that the company would force employees to make non-essential visits to work, and called for a disconnect between the company’s marketing to customers who use its products to work remotely from around the world and its treatment of employees.
“How can we understand the problems of remote work that need to be resolved in our products if we do not live with them?” He reads the message.
They also mocked Cook’s description of “the serendipity that comes from bumping into colleagues,” arguing that such a fanciful vision was impossible among the company’s 37 US offices even before the company went far during the pandemic.
“We are not all in one place. We don’t have just one office, we have many. Our functional organizations often have their own office buildings, where employees from other organizations cannot work.” “This isolated structure is part of our culture.”
In September, while tensions over the company’s return to in-person work were still brewing before Apple’s plans to bring workers back were thwarted by the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, Apple engineer Cher Scarlett spoke to Vox about this anticipation of a one-person collaboration.
“There is an idea that people skateboarding around tech college campuses are bumping into each other and making great new inventions,” said Scarlett, who joined the company during the pandemic and has become a leader in organizing colleagues to push for more remote work. “this is not true.”
Scarlett, one of the founding members of Apple Together when it was first formed in August under the name “Apple Too,” left the company in November and has complaints pending before the Labor Council.
She and Janek Parrish, who had also been fired and filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, encouraged employees to submit stories of racism, sexism or discrimination in their workplace.
An Apple Together spokesperson told CNN Business, an employee who works in hardware engineering in the Bay Area and who asked not to be named told the outlet that there are about 200 workers within the group — in total, Apple has more than 100,000 employees in the area. United State.
Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured) said in an email to employees that employees will need to start returning to the office — but Apple Together, a newly formed group of employees, said this will lead to perks that determine who can work for Apple.
The employee said, “There is a huge disconnect between executive leadership and people. The further you go up the chain, the more empathy erodes.”
In its letter, Apple Together said it was much easier to collaborate with co-workers from their home offices, rather than newer Apple offices with open floor plans.
They also criticized the company’s recent decision to keep employees in different company departments and locations in separate Slack workplaces, making it impossible to create shared community spaces where serendipity can occur.
“We are not asking that everyone be forced to work from home,” the letter said. We ask that we decide for ourselves, along with our teams and our line manager, what type of work arrangement is best for each of us, whether it’s in an office, working from home, or a hybrid approach.
Apple’s messaging to employees comes after big tech giants, such as Twitter and Facebook, told their employees they can work from home indefinitely.
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