Apple raises staff pay due to rising US inflation

Apple Inc. is increasing workers’ salaries in the United States by 10% or more as it faces a tight labor market and the spread of unionization efforts in its retail stores.

The Cupertino, Calif.-Based company is expanding its overall compensation budget this year, it said in a statement Wednesday. It will raise the minimum hourly wage for its staff to at least $ 22 (R347), up 10% from last year.

The move follows a pay rise in February following inflation woes and complaints from some staff members about working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apple is now accelerating its performance-based annual pay increases for retail and corporate team members by three months, according to an email to employees. The company is struggling with unionization efforts in several parts of the United States, including Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.

In a recent video message to employees, Apple’s chief of retail warned, “We have a relationship based on open, collaborative and direct engagement” and “I worry about what it would be like to put another organization in the middle of our relationship. . “

Companies often announce improvements as they fight unionization campaigns and, in so doing, can interfere with employee free choice, Seattle University labor law professor Charlotte Garden said in an email.

“The risk is that workers perceive that maintaining improvements is conditional on voting against union representation and that if they vote for the union, the company will play hard.”

US tech companies are battling talent shortages after many chose flexible options or left the workforce during the pandemic.

Software maker Microsoft Corp. is among those spending the most aggressively to stay competitive, planning to nearly double the pay rise budget this year in an effort to keep employees.

Inflation is also playing a role in raising wage expectations, with US consumer prices rising 8.3% annually in April, according to government data released Wednesday.

Apple has approximately 154,000 full-time or equivalent employees, according to regulatory documents. His starting salary is comfortably above the US national minimum, which has been $ 7.25 since 2009; The New York City minimum wage is $ 15.

Like other leading tech companies, the company has so far operated without a formal worker organization, however, it has successfully moved into a warehouse of Inc. of New York and Starbucks Corp. Cafes across the country have boosted new campaigns.

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