Apple employees ask for changes in open letter written to CEO Tim Cook

Apple employees ask for changes in open letter written to CEO Tim Cook
An anonymous group of Apple employees posted a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Friday complaining that at Apple, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for company employees. That's because workers are "aggressively encouraged to sync their personal iClouds to their devices," allowing Apple to be able to search "many workers' personal data." The company, says the letter, "denies all workers the benefit of the doubt, and a sense of safety and trust in the workplace."

Apple employees write an open letter to CEO Tim Cook complaining about how they are being treated by the company

The employees who wrote and posted the letter want Cook and Apple to "do the right thing" by creating a work environment "where everyone feels safe and welcome and has the promise of equal opportunity and treatment." They also want the company to provide job candidates and current workers "a transparent look at salary or hourly ranges" to help them negotiate improved paychecks.

Apple employees are hoping that by sharing their stories, it will bring more attention to their plight. In the open letter, it says, "Hundreds of us have documented our stories of abuse, discrimination, and harassment. Hundreds of us have documented reporting our stories through internal channels, and receiving no relief. In sharing our stories, we are calling attention to our experiences working at Apple, and how much better we can do."

They are also sharing their stories because "At Apple, we are called upon to do the right thing, and that must extend to how we treat employees. We are reaching out because Apple must fulfill its promise of inclusion, diversity, and equity. We demand an environment where everyone feels safe and welcome and has the promise of equal opportunity and treatment."

The letter asks for "Increased separation between Apple-owned and worker-owned digital and physical property in all Apple policies." In order to keep workers' personal data private, the letter suggests that Apple provide employees with an iCloud account using corporate email accounts. This will keep personal data private for employees wanting to opt-out of iCloud @ Apple and anything outside of the Apple work folder would remain off-limits to Apple.

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"Workers who require devices should have a dedicated number and be allowed a personal device unlinked from Apple’s corporate ecosystem," according to the missive. This would include Apple refraining from publishing personal phone numbers in the Apple Directory. "Employees have been harassed on their personal phone numbers as a result of this policy," the open letter notes.

The employees want the tech giant to "Provide transparent livable, equitable, and fair compensation across all of Apple." One suggestion calls for Apple to "Audit all wages per geographic area, including hourly retail roles, are above the living wage calculated for that area. Provide benefit package parity to all hourly and salaried workers working more than 20 hours per week."

Apple employees want to be able to report problems to management without fear of retribution

Additionally, the workers request that Apple "Audit all promotions and performance reviews for gender, racial, disability, and heteronormative biases that may lead to wage gaps and a lack of opportunity and compensation within the company in each part of it." Speaking of audits, the letter recommends that all third-party relationships be audited including vendors and staffing agencies.

Employees want to be able to report issues to management without fear of retribution. The letter says that Apple "workers should feel psychologically safe to report issues, request accommodation, and get information in a way that upholds employment law, respects privacy, and protects them from suppression of rights, retaliation and discrimination."

Lastly, the open letter asks Apple to "Provide a process for group concerns to be heard with a transparent feedback loop." This section goes on to say that "Workers want to feel heard and have their issues addressed, especially when those concerns are widely shared. The opaque nature of individualized feedback chains have left many feeling like leadership has stopped listening to us altogether."

At the end of the letter, it asks, "Will you sign the letter and stand together with us?" You can choose to respond Yes or No. Even if you have never worked for Apple a day in your life, you can still respond in the affirmative and sign the letter.

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