Apple Retail Workers Union initiative


 A Union drive in computer giant Apple retail is breaking new ground. Apple showroom employee Cory Moll who works in an Apple computer store in San Francisco has started a drive to unionise retail workers in a rare move at the company. He wants to unionise his fellow workers to fight for better wages and conditions. Unfair practices at the company have spurred him in this struggle.

"The core issues definitely involve compensation, pay, benefits," says Moll.  In San Francisco workers at the AppleStore "genius bar" are only paid $14 an hour, only a little above the Irish minimum wage and slightly more that $4 above the California minimum wage.

Apple directly employs over 30,000 workers in about 325 stores across the world.  It has a stock market value of $320bn and in the last quarter made profits of $6 billion.  There has also ben considerable controversy about the conditions for the much larger number of Chinese workers in the plants that manufacture Apple products.  According to the (London) Independent a 2006 report on the plant producing iPods found that the workers "worked 60-hour, six-day weeks.  ... demands on the 200,000 staff were "excessive". Its authors were "not satisfied" with conditions in dormitories where thousands of workers are forced to eat, sleep and spend large portions of their free time."  The same plant saw further controversy last year when a 30% pay rise was granted after it emerged ten workers had killed themselves by jumping off the roof in the previous year.

Moll has set up an online campaign to build the Apple Retail Workers Union  it is being built through twitter, facebook and it's own website