Apple employees are speaking out against Apple’s anti-remote worker mandates.
A handful of Apple employees are pushing back against company mandates to reduce remote work.
AppleTogether, a self-described global solitary union, posted a petition on Monday demanding more flexibility. It directly calls for Apple to allow immediate managers to arrange flexible work arrangements without higher levels of approval or interference.
The petition is nearing 500 signatures at the time of writing, after being posted this morning.
“This uniform mandate from senior leadership does not consider the unique demands of each job role nor the diversity of individuals,” says AppleTogether.
“Those asking for more flexible arrangements have many compelling reasons and circumstances: from disabilities (visible or not); family care; safety, health, and environmental concerns; financial considerations; to just plain being happier and more productive.”
Why it’s new
Major corporations are struggling to maintain productivity with only 44% of the workforce returning to the office. Remote working is preferred by a majority of employees—with 61% of employees choosing to work from home when given the opportunity, according to Pew Research.
As we reported last week, Apple set a deadline for employees to return to the office at least three days per week by Labor Day. Apple and other major corporations have reported productivity losses, with the latter reporting a significant 1% drop in second-quarter revenue since last year.
High percentages of remote workers have had a negative impact on company cultures—making communication internally and externally more difficult and affecting operations.
AppleTogether defends the work of Apple’s employees, saying “For the past 2+ years, Apple’s formerly office-based employees have performed exceptional work, flexibly, both outside and inside traditional office environments.”
Speaking at the TIME 100 symposium in New York in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook… said he preferred the “serendipity of in-person office meetings,” says MarketWatch.
Backing up a bit
AppleTogether is not an official union but its goals include encouraging unionization efforts and ensuring the end of union busting, with the hope of promoting diversity and equity within the workplace. It has promoted and stood by several unionization efforts around the world, reports Wired.
“At least one high-level employee has jumped ship as a result of Apple’s stance. Apple’s director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, told staff in May that he was moving to Google partly because of the more flexible working arrangements,” says The Guardian.