Now, Apple workers in Australia will go on strike during Christmas
After UK and the US, demand for better pay and fixed working hours have led to workers in Australia announcing a strike over the holiday season. Hundreds of Apple workers in the country are preparing to go on a strike ahead of Christmas to demand better working conditions and wages, union leaders and staff said. It is expected to make things worse for the company that is already struggling to fulfill demand due to worker unrest and consequent production shortage at the China plant.
Roughly 4,000 employees in Australia will participate in the less than two-day strike. Demands by members of Australia's Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) include fixed rosters, known hours of work, weekends of two consecutive days and an agreed annual wage rise.
"This Christmas strike is a way for our members to take back their time with family and friends while management continues to refuse to give workers the most basic minimum rostering rights," RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan told Reuters. He further said that the management will be notified on Monday of the intention to strike.
The management has refused to meet over demands until February, he said.
Striking workers will walk out of Apple's retail outlets nationwide at 3 pm local time on December 23 and won't be working on Christmas Eve, a peak time for sales of Apple iPhones, watches and other products.
Two retail outlets in Brisbane, and one each in Adelaide and Newcastle where RAFFWU have the most members are likely to be most impacted.
An Apple spokesperson did not speak on the matter but told Reuters that the company is "proud to reward our valued team members in Australia with strong compensation and exceptional benefits”.
Apple workers in Maryland, US were the first retail employees of the tech giant to unionise in the United States earlier in June. Formal dates in January to start negotiations with Apple were announced by the Union on Thursday. The workers staged a full day strike in October and also a one-hour walkout later that month.
"You can't put a price on work-life balance," one Apple employee said.
"What we have ended up with Apple is an arrangement where all the non-mandatory benefits that allows a work-life balance to workers have been taken off."
The employees will also escalate other actions, including a ban on iPhone repair and Apple Watch repairs for certain hours in some outlets, bans on answering the door in others, bans on conducting any sales, and bans on wearing the company's festive red t-shirt.