Workers at Apple stores in France began a nationwide strike this Friday (22) over wages and working conditions, in a protest intended to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 15.
The move is the latest headache for the French tech giant, after it was forced to stop selling its iPhone 12 model earlier this month because of over-the-limit radiation. Apple disputes the French watchdog’s conclusions.
About 30 employees picketed outside a company store in central Paris, one of three in the French capital, just meters from a line of about 40 customers waiting in the rain to enter the store.
“We are still the people who make Apple’s wealth and therefore I think we deserve a little more honorable treatment than what we are given today,” said Anais Durel, 36, who has worked for the company for 10 years.
Apple unions, including CGT, Unsa, CFDT and Cidre-CFTC, who also plan to strike on Saturday (23), called for a 7% pay increase to offset inflation and an end to the months-long hiring freeze. Management was unwilling to offer more than a 4.5 percent raise, union officials said.
“Inflation is still very bad. There are many employees who are experiencing difficulties,” said Tarek, a CGT union leader who declined to give his last name.
“The goal is in no way to block iPhone sales, the goal is to really make people aware of this situation,” he added.
Employees at a company store in Barcelona, where around 250 people lined up to enter the unit on Friday morning, were ready to join their colleagues in France to protest working conditions.
Around 20 workers will set up an information picket outside the store in central Barcelona at midday, Pablo Paredes, leader of the CNT Apple union, told Reuters.
Paredes said the workers’ goal is to highlight poor working conditions, including contracts that do not compensate them for working weekends or nights.
“We have been talking since August with our colleagues on strike in France. In Spain, unlike them, not all unions agreed to go on strike,” said Paredes.
Manuel Ausloos, Louise Dalmasso, Abdul Saboor, Horaci Garcia, Corina Pons and Charlottte Van Campenhout