Apple Reportedly Promises Retail Workers More Schedule Flexibility Amid Union Efforts

A new report says Apple told some Apple Store retail staff it would give longer breaks between shifts and more flexible scheduling.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
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David Lumb
2 min read
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While some Apple Store employees push to unionize, Apple has reportedly told some of its retail workers it's planning to make its scheduling rules more generous and flexible. 

For instance, Apple will extend the minimum time between shifts from 10 hours to 12 hours, impose a limit of three days per week that workers are allowed to work past 8 p.m. and reduce the number of consecutive days they can be scheduled to work from six days in a row to five (except during holidays or product launches), according to a Bloomberg report. Full-time retail staff will also be able to pick one dedicated weekend day off for every six-month period.

It's unclear when these new policies will go into effect. Unnamed Apple retail workers told Bloomberg that some will start in the next several weeks, but other scheduling changes might not happen until later in 2022.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple, which became the world's first $3 trillion company in early 2022, has seen retail workers from a pair of Apple Store locations in Atlanta and New York organize their own unions. Apple hasn't recognized either union, and the workers in the Atlanta store recently withdrew from a union vote that had been scheduled for Thursday. The Communications Workers of America representing those workers say Apple violated the National Labor Relations Act and that a "free and fair election" was impossible. 

Other tech companies are facing union pushes from their own workers this year. In March, a group of Google Fiber contractors in Missouri successfully voted to unionize, becoming the first unit of the Alphabet Workers Union to bargain for a contract. An Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, became the first to successfully unionize in early April, though another warehouse across town failed to ratify its union in May.