Apple employees demand change in internal company practices in open letter
As an employer and entrepreneur, Apple is unfortunately no stranger to various labor market, legal and ethical issues. This has generally been the case over the years, with various issues more or less hitting the limelight in waves. Granted, when operating on the scale of the Cupertino giant, some problems somewhere in the massive business machine are inevitable. But what the people’s part of the #AppletToo movement has begun to bring forward goes far beyond isolated cases or even individual cases of work-related issues themselves, and accuses Apple’s internal corporate practices of creating a very unpleasant climate for incidents that may occur in .
Before we get into things, we need to start this by saying that we are in no way affiliated with any of the parties involved, nor can we verify any of the claims. However, some of the things mentioned in the open letter, recently published by #AppleToo, caught our attention and we think it’s worth investigating. You can read it all here for yourself. The requirements it sets are as follows:
- Increased separation between Apple owned and working owned digital and physical property in all Apple policies.
- 2. Provide transparent, livable, reasonable and equitable compensation for the entire Apple.
- Revise all third party relationships.
- 4. Hold staff, employee relations, business conduct and management accountable.
- 5. Provide a process where the group’s concerns can be heard with a transparent feedback loop.
Admittedly, some of the points, especially those dealing with reasonable compensation, are a bit vague and unfortunately prohibitively large, which nevertheless need to be tackled with a few paragraphs in an open letter. Most other points, however, all seem to be centered around an allegedly broken and poorly configured internal reporting system at Apple, combined with potential misuse of employees’ personal data that damages the sense of security and trust in the workplace. To quote the letter itself:
Workers have been given a lot of setbacks in trying to hear the group’s concerns outside of what has been chosen for Townhall Q & As within various organizations. This has left many feeling insecure about who to trust and who to go to for help with coordinated concerns shared by multiple workers where there is no precise activity or people to report through. individual paths, e.g. Our PBP or managers.
So quite simply, the claim here is that Apple’s internal reporting structures are not working properly. And according to #AppleToo, those are not isolated instances either.
Hundreds of us have documented our stories of abuse, discrimination and harassment. Hundreds of us have documented reporting our stories through internal channels and receive no relief.
And judging by some other parts of the letter, some of the complaints in themselves relate to very serious issues.
We request an independent third-party audit of Apple’s reporting structure, people and employee relationships, business conduct, and all management. We want a thorough re-examination of all reports and findings of racism, discrimination, abuse, harassment, repression of concerted activity and retaliation following this review.
Then there is the extra layer of insecurity and potential misuse of personal employee information that allegedly takes place at Apple.
Apple’s Privacy and Device Policy also ensures that when we seek recourse, we run the risk of invading our personal privacy. When we seek leave or accommodation through Apple’s mental and physical health partners, we are asked to release personal medical information for a wide period of two years to Apple and any of Apple’s agents. Apple is proud of its privacy policies, yet it feels like workers our privacy does not worry about.
The letter also goes into more practical aspects and details about this confidentiality point.
Apple employees are aggressively encouraged to sync their personal iClouds with their devices. As a result, many employees ‘personal data is expected to be retrieved by Apple in accordance with their policies … An iCloud account that uses the company’s email accounts should be set up to keep employees’ personal data private to them, who want to opt out of iCloud @ Apple. For employees who want to sign up, the policies should be clear that employees have the right to privacy with everything outside the Apple Work folder … Workers who need devices must have a dedicated number and have a personal device, not affiliated with the Apple Business Directory, including the publication of personal phone numbers in the Apple Directory. Employees have been harassed on their personal phone numbers as a result of this policy.
Regarding potential third party misuse of personal information, the letter explicitly mentions two companies – Sedgwick and NAVEX Global, which potentially have access to employee data and already have a long history of complaints and lawsuits against them for misuse.
Overall, a pretty serious set of complaints that paint an almost toxic work environment. Once again, we can not speak to the authenticity of any of the claims, but the #AppleToo movement seems to be creating momentum online. Here, hope it all builds up to a positive outcome of some kind.