Apple hourly workers feel helpless under punishing pressure & mistreatment



  • Reply 101 of 104
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,961moderator
    jdw said:
    Businesses exist to make profit.  Everything else is secondary.  This is not a praise or condemnation but rather a statement of fact. It is capitalism.  And whether one likes Capitalism or not, it is largely the system used in the USA, where most of you reside.  Employees are treated in part in accordance with the law, but also in part from the benevolence, or lack therefore, of the company which hires them.  If prices are raised too high to pay a living wage, then such could negatively impact sales, reduce profits, and call the entire business into question.  

    The problem with rent (living cost) is specific to California state, so if the prices of Apple products sold in California state were to rise in accordance with the cost of living there, but not have an equivalent rise in other states where the cost of living is lower, then fiscally-minded consumers would be inclined to buy from those other lower cost states instead, thereby resulting in fewer visitors to Apple stores in CA.

    For this reason, Apple alone cannot resolve high rent prices in CA state, unless it diversifies into real estate and housing and then rents to home seekers for low prices, but then you'd have Big Brother jumping in yet again to cry about anti-trust.

    The entire conversation about overpriced rent in CA, and what constitutes a living wage, and whether wages along should be raised to compensate for rising living expenses (instead of an alternative solution that seeks to lower price inflation, keep rent costs in check, or even reduce living costs overall) is a debate that transcends Apple.  Apple is simply caught up in a much bigger problem that it cannot solve by itself, despite being one of the biggest corporations around.  All we are doing in this forum right now is discussing how we think and feel about Apple's PR within the confines of this complex topic.  It superficially "looks better" if Apple pays CA employees more in light of their higher rent, and may even make some employees feel better for a few months, but increasing wages in CA would only drive living costs up further, and soon people would be back to complaining about Apple yet again at that point.  All the while, prices of Apple products would need to be increased to compensate for higher wages, leading to numerous other problems in the marketplace.

    This is not an argument against higher wages.  This is an explanation about what drives up the cost of living.  Higher wages really do trigger price inflation at some point.  

    The ideal solution, whatever that may be, would be to have wages increase with no matching increase in the cost of living.  (For example, here in Japan, I've paid the same rent for a rented home to my landlord for more than 12 years.) CA state needs wage increases alongside price deflation in order to make the state long-term viable for most people to live.  Anything short of that will only increase homelessness and despair, which is already a huge problem right now in CA.  It's no wonder many people I know from my home state of CA have now moved to Texas (which has no income tax and a lower cost of living) and seem to be enjoying that decision tremendously.
    I’m truly curious: how can wage increases combined with price deflation mathematically work in the real world?

    I’d be interested to see that worked out and proven.

    I submit that’s an impossible task to explicitly do to the market as a whole: command economies always fail, historically.  Japan has undergone long-term deflation for a very long period of time, while the US has not been deflationary for more than a few months since the Great Depression, and what you’re proposing is a conflicting pair of goals that has far less room to work than most people realize.  There are other than pure mathematical issues with such a proposal that encourage failure, such as human motivation.

    The wiser long-term solution is not to raise everyone’s wages for the exact same results, but rather to level up workers (they need to invest in themselves, it doesn’t come without time and effort) in value to justify a higher hourly/salary price.  In the real world, this is the most important distinction between what constitutes something being either a job or career, where a job doesn’t necessarily require growth and progression, but a career  does.  This concept is a HUGE flaw in the current political insanity screaming about “equity” in that it screams for everyone to have an equal outcome regardless of how much or little they worked for it immediately and long-term, and their sacrifices they’ve made or not made.
    People who hold lower-level jobs still need to live in expensive cities otherwise there would be no fast-food restaurants or retail stores in those cities but it's true that things are being valued against each other and displacing one has a corresponding effect. The real question is where all the money is going that causes the disparity in the first place.

    The government puts a fixed supply of currency into circulation (it grows with the economy but is fixed at a given point in time) and everybody is fighting over it to improve their quality of life. That's the main cause that keeps people poor, there's not enough money in circulation to allow everyone to be wealthy. Forcing people into desperation for food and housing is the only thing that keeps people doing low quality jobs, which is why when the government started supporting people during the pandemic, people stopped working those low quality jobs.

    One of the places that money goes is into the earnings of corporations. Big companies are all driven to grow every year, especially publicly owned companies because investors want bigger returns. Most people who buy products are on average incomes. By increasing the prices of products, it displaces wealth from them to the big corporations' profits and shareholders where many of the biggest shareholders are hedge funds and other financial institutions. These are the same companies who are employing the people paying for the products and offering them financial services and loans.

    The drive for ever increasing corporate revenue/earnings growth displaces wealth to the people at the top.

    "the typical homebuyer is now 44, whereas in 1981, the typical homebuyer was 25-34."

    The more wealth at the top, the more this group can do things like buy property and increase the rent causing a shortage in affordable housing.

    There are a number of solutions for this and the most effective would be taxing wealth (not just income) and capping rent and house prices. Capping medical bills would be another.
    “A living wage” is one of those things that’s different for everyone because everyone has different ideas of what they “need” versus “want” and is about as easy to nail down as grabbing a cloud and nailing it to the wall.  It’s (at best!) a nebulous concept that nobody can ever agree on a concrete number, and makes for a great way to start an argument that achieves exactly nothing of real value, because it remains abstract and never gets concrete and measurable.
    It's pretty easy to work out what a living wage is in every region. All the available rents and prices are well known, as are the salaries. A living wage is where the income adequately exceeds the cost of living.

    If median rent in an area is $1000/month for 1-bedroom accommodation, grocery prices are $50/week, utilities are $50/month, transport $50/month, $500/month healthcare, that's $1800/month bare minimum costs, add 10% for extras and it's $2000/month. $24k + taxes would be around $32k. $32k / 52 weeks / 40 hours = $15/hr.

    As is clear to see, the biggest impact comes from housing and the houses are owned by the wealthy. Capping rent and taxing wealth helps fix this.

    Minimum wage doesn't automatically rise with inflation but it should. Every year someone stays on the same salary, they are getting a pay reduction.

    The government doesn't have to enforce that companies pay a living wage but every region can very easily calculate what it is and make it public and when an employer offers a number below this, employees can walk out the door if they choose to. They can force employers to put the regional living wage on payslips. Employers are in competition with each other and they will quickly start offering living wages in their job ads if it attracts employees.
  • Reply 102 of 104
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,568member
    crowley said:
    sdw2001 said:
    crowley said:
    sdw2001 said:
    Apple must stop the bs and put in practice what it preaches. I have been a long-time customer of Apple (Mac's, IPads, IPhones, IPods, Airpods, etc, etc, etc.) for myself and every member of my family and I must say that I was thoughghly upset when I read about how Apple is treating its front-line employees. This is how American capitalism has run amok and failed the very large majority of citizens: the obscene enrichment of a very few to the detriment of the rest. This is outrageous in light of Cook, Federici & al pocketing their hundreds of $Millions in remuneration and stock options on the back of their front-line employees. This must stop or else....
    Apple doesn't have to do anything.  And your comments on capitalism are complete gaslighting nonsense.  American capitalism hasn't failed even a plurality of citizens.  It has been the system responsible for lifting more people out of abject poverty than anytime in the history of the planet.  Moreover, despite wails of "income inequality," there is no evidence that a small group of ultra-wealthy people are hoarding money to the detriment of others.  Sure, top executive pay has risen exponentially compared to middle and lower level wages.  But just do the math.  Tim Cook made about $15 million in total compensation last year.  If he gave up every penny to the approximately 30,000 Apple Retail employees in the U.S., it would translate to $500 per worker.  Well guess what? Apple gave them $1000 bonuses.  

    Or else? I'm sure Apple is quaking in their boots.  
    Tim Cook is only one man out of many executives, and you've chosen a particular year that he wasn't awarded any stock options.  Retail staff aren't given stock options any year.
    Cool. Add up what all the top executives make and do the math again.
    I'd rather not.  There's really no need to put effort into making an argument that there's something messed up with a CEO and Exec Board earning 8 digit incomes while staff aren't being paid a living wage.
    Like I said before...its retail so what do they expect to be paid? I believe Apple Store employees are paid a little better than most places and they get some pretty damn good perks as well. When has working in retail ever been about making a "living wage"? Sounds to me like a whole 16 or so out of the tens of thousands of Apple Store employees expect to be paid as if they were working at Apple Corporate. That's never gonna happen and if any of them ever expected that then they set themselves up for failure. 

    I would say Tim Cook deserves every bit of what he gets. He's taken Apple way beyond what I think most would have ever expected. He's made the company billions and billions of dollars and has gotten very little in return if you look at things as a whole. 
  • Reply 103 of 104
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    macxpress said:

    When has working in retail ever been about making a "living wage"? 
    It's never been very highly paid I grant you, but it's been a reasonable job that people have been able to support themselves on.  Which is what a living wage is.

    This disdainful attitude some people have towards retail workers is unpleasant.  It's a fine job that deserves adequate compensation.
Sign In or Register to comment.