A group of Apple retail store employees is working to form a union to fight for better wages and combat what it says is "unfair treatment" from the company.
Macworld, along with several other media outlets were contacted earlier today by a group calling itself the "Apple Retail Workers Union." The group, the size of which is unknown, currently has a simple placeholder Web site with the quote "At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people. Our Time Has Come," on its front page, along with a feedback form for other Apple retail store employees to get in touch about the effort.
In its note to Macworld, the group described Apple's treatment of its retail employees as "unfair":
We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we work in one of the most demanding retail environments while suffering through unfair treatment and compensation among many other various issues...We deserve better. Our time has come.
In a follow-up message, the group said wages are the big target, as are Apple's "break schedules, training opportunities," and "the selection and hiring process for internal candidates for open positions."
The timing of the effort is not a coincidence. Apple today celebrates the 10th anniversary of its retail stores, an operation that's grown to more than 320 locations around the world, and has helped push the company's record profits.
According to Glassdoor, which tracks salaries across technology companies and other industries, Apple retail store employee "Mac Specialists" pull in anywhere from $9 to $16 an hour. The store's "Geniuses," who provide support at the company's Genius Bar, pull in considerably more, at anywhere from $13 to $23 an hour.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.