Tim Cook faces employee instability at Apple

SAN FRANCISCO – Workers are expected to be locked up with management in a secretive corporate culture known to their Silicon Valley peers, and a few years ago it was suddenly facing an unthinkable issue – employee instability.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook, for the first time, answered questions from employees at the All-Employees’ Meeting on issues such as payroll to the company and the company’s commitment to greater self-determination in Texas. ‘Restricted Abortion Law.

Mr. Cook answered only two of the questions asked by human rights activists during a press conference around the world, in an interview with The New York Times. But his response was a well-known fact that Apple had been roaming the workplace and social issues in Silicon Valley for years.

Over the past month, more than 500 people claiming to be current and former Apple employees have been verbally abused, sexually harassed, retaliated against, and discriminated against. And Janice Parish said.

The group began posting some unfamiliar stories online and encouraged colleagues to contact state and federal labor officials. Their cases, as well as the eight current and former employees interviewed by The Times, vary; These include workplace conditions, unequal pay, and the company’s business practices.

A common theme is that Apple confidentiality has created a culture that encourages employees not to talk about their workplace worries — not with coworkers, the press, or on social media. Complaints about problem managers or co-workers are often dismissed, and employees are afraid to criticize how the company operates, said employees interviewed by the Times.

“Apple has a toxic culture of secrecy,” said Christine Deus, who worked for Apple for five years in August. “On the one hand, yes, I understand that confidentiality is important for product safety to impress and delight customers. But the ban and the blood flow to harmful cultural areas. ”

Apple’s chief of staff, Cook and Dredre O’Brien, said in a statement on Friday that Apple would regularly review compensation arrangements for employees.

“When we find some gaps, sometimes we close them,” says O’Brien.

Asked what Apple was doing to protect its employees from abortion restrictions in Texas, Mr Cook said the company was looking into whether it could help in the legal fight against the new law and whether medical insurance would help pay for Apple employees in Texas. They had to travel to other states to have an abortion.

Cook’s comments were welcomed by Apple staff on a phone call, Ms. Parish said. While some of the staff were pleased with Cook, others, including her, were upset.

Ms Parish Apple questioned what concrete steps they have taken to address wage gaps and promote more women and people of color to leadership roles. “We didn’t hear Tim’s answer today,” she said.

Apple has about 160,000 employees worldwide, and it is unclear if the new public grievances reflect the systemic problems or specific issues of many large corporations.

“We are deeply committed to creating and sustaining a positive and inclusive workplace,” the company said in a statement. “We take all concerns seriously and investigate each case in depth and do not discuss specific labor issues with respect to the privacy of the individuals involved.

While Apple’s workplace case scenario is impressive for those who have followed the company for many years, employee movement has become commonplace in Silicon Valley.

Three years ago, Google employees left their offices around the world to protest sexual harassment policies. Last year, Facebook users protested the handling of President Donald J. Trump’s posts. And some companies have explicitly blocked work-related conversations.

But on Apple, the standard and the file have been doing their job for a while until recently. Confidentiality was a market feature of the company’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, who appeared on stage to raise public awareness about Apple’s new product leaks. Employees interviewed by The Times said that over time, that culture has spread to a wider workplace.

“I’ve never met people who are too scary to talk to their employers,” said Skartt, who joined Apple as a software engineer in eight other companies in April.

Apple’s spokesman said the company’s policy was “free to talk about your pay, hours or working conditions.”

According to a number of current and former employees of The Times, Slack has become a key organizing tool for employees. Apple Cylilian culture has differentiated groups of workers from one another, which is another result of efforts to prevent leaks. Apple Until the launch of Slack in 2019, there was no large, popular internal messaging board for staff to communicate with each other.

Slack became especially popular when workers were told to work from home at the beginning of the epidemic. “For many of us, this was the first opportunity we had to meet people outside of Shiloh,” said Parish. Earlier, he said: “Nobody knew what had happened.

Complaints seem to be having an effect. When Apple hired former Facebook manager Antonio García Martinez earlier this year, more than 2,000 employees signed a letter of protest, calling it part of a “racist and sexual discourse” in his book. Facebook. Within days, Apple fired him. Mr Garcia Martinez declined to comment on the details.

In May, hundreds of workers signed a letter urging Apple to publicly support the Palestinians in its conflict with Israel. And after the pandemic, Apple’s Slack channel, which was set up to organize efforts to make remote operations more flexible, now has about 7,500 employees.

Aside from the group movement, Apple is also dealing with individual struggles that are slipping away from the public eye.

Ashley Gojovic, a six-year-old former engineering program manager at Apple, said she had not had enough testing for toxic chemicals in her office, and had been complaining about sexual harassment for months.

Ms. Jojovic has been dismissed this year after her complaint was made public. She said she was fired because Apple released product information and did not cooperate with the investigation. She said she had lodged complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Employment Commission and the Department of Justice.

Apple has refrained from commenting on certain employee issues.

For her part, Dius, who worked at Apple to mitigate the effects of minerals in conflict zones, said she left Apple after many years of trying to re-assign herself to a low-paying role. After complaining that the company’s work on the mines would not make a difference in some war-torn countries, Apple said it was trying to reassign.

In some cases, federal law requires that Richard Dahan, who is deaf, have struggled for six years in his previous job at the Apple Store in Maryland, and that the manager refused to provide sign language interpreters to communicate with customers. He typed on his iPad and talked to customers, and as a result, some customers refused to work with him. When he told the manager, he said it was the customer’s right, he said.

“Would it be better if they said I didn’t want to work with someone of color?” Mr. Dahan was interviewed by a sign language interpreter.

Finally, an interpreter was appointed. But at the time, the top management saw him as a complainant and refused to promote him.

“Their culture is cold. Drink our help. Buy what we tell you. We’ll introduce you,” he said. But if they ask for anything or make noise, they will not do it.

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