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Apple Agitator: Retail Employee Says It’s Time to Unionize One Store at a Time

Apple Inc. means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

For some it's the devices, which have revolutionized communication. For others it's the retail shopping experience. For Cory Moll, it is simply a way of life.

Moll is not only a die-hard Mac lover. He's an Apple retail store employee and one with a mission: make the life of all Apple store employees better.

Last month, he launched the Apple Retail Workers Union simultaneously with the 10th anniversary of the opening of the first Apple store. (See: Apple Takes a Bite Out of Retail as Stores Turn 10)

"Right now it is not so much about signing [people] up as it is about just talking about it and getting the word of mouth out," Moll, the self-appointed leader of the movement, tells Aaron in the accompanying interview. "People [worldwide] are really excited to know that there is an opportunity for change coming…But right now it is just about getting people to talk about it and feeling comfortable talking about it."

Apple retail stores employ about 16,000 workers worldwide. The average Apple store employee earns between $9 and $15 an hour, whereas those working at the Genius Bar could earn up to $30 an hour. In addition, all full-time employees are eligible for benefits and part-time employees are also eligible after a full year of employment.

On the face of it, those numbers are not too shabby and for the most part Moll agrees. "In general Apple takes really good care of us and we love our job," he says. "The core issue is respect from management."

So what are his grievances as an Apple store employee?

  • Benefit Equality: Employee compensation differs for part-time and full-time workers and new hires are offered better packages than workers who have been with the company for many years.
  • Scheduling: Apple store managers are very strict on not scheduling part-time employees for more than 28 hours per week.

Moll is still employed by a San Francisco-based Apple store. To date, he has yet to hear a word from any level of management. The next step for him and the Apple Retail Workers Union is to galvanize the movement one store at a time.

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