Apple to move away from security contractors, hire guards as full-time employees

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Following months of pressure from service workers advocacy groups, Apple is set to end its reliance on external security vendors and will begin hiring security personnel as full-time employees, entitling them to many of the same benefits granted to other Apple workers.




"We will be hiring a large number of full-time people to handle our day-to-day security needs," an Apple spokesperson told the San Jose Mercury News. "We hope that virtually all of these positions will be filled by employees from our current security vendor and we're working closely with them on this process."

While it remains unclear what the move will mean for those workers' salaries, they will reportedly be eligible to receive Apple-provided benefits including full health insurance, retirement contributions, and parental leave. A relatively small cost to Apple, the world's largest company, access to such benefits would be a significant boost for security personnel who are often classed as part-time employees despite working de facto full-time jobs.

For now, it appears that the change only affects those working security at Apple's corporate campuses in the U.S. There is no word on when, or if, the policy will trickle down to Apple's security activities at its retail stores or corporate locations outside the country.

Apple, along with a number of other Silicon Valley companies, has been under pressure to improve working conditions for the thousands of contractors that provide ancillary services, such as security, for those firms. Late last week, shuttle bus drivers working for Compass Transportation, which holds contracts with Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo and Zynga, voted for representation from the Teamsters union to aid in their own fight for higher wages.
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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 37
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,486member
    Smart move. Then they can fire anyone that doesn't meet their standards. No red tape in the way, and the potential for more secrecy control. Hard to do that when there's an intermediate company in the way managing the staff.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,453member
    That's actually quite surprising and good news. It's hard for me to believe that they won't be all far better off and it's probably far better for them to have "Apple" on their resume than "Jones Security Services" if they're the type of person who can move beyond doing security work.

    Kudos to Apple on this. Most companies move in exactly the opposite direction - trying to offload employees onto third parties.

    Between 1998 and 2002, I worked for a large well-known media company that resided in a large NYC midtown office tower. During the time I was there and after I left, there was a lot of company restructuring and divisions sold and the building became less than full.

    A few years later I was downtown at the now defunct J&R Music and someone on the street called my name and said hello. The person looked familiar but I couldn't place him. It turned out he was a former security guard at the building, but he worked for a third-party security company, not the company who owned the building who I worked for. When divisions moved out of the building, he was laid-off. In the interim, his mother passed away (who he was living with) and he was now homeless. That really shook me. I couldn't believe that this person, who was essentially working for one of the top corporations in the world (even though it was via a private security firm) was left homeless.

    For those of us who do okay, I don't think we realize how many people in the U.S. are living right on the edge.

    Having the security employees work directly for Apple would eliminate most situations like that.
  • Reply 4 of 37

    Good move.

     

    How will Apple keep the Apple Watch secure in their shops? I wonder if they will only sell the gold one in existing jewellers, rather than risk having it stolen from their own stores.

  • Reply 5 of 37
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 208member
    Good move, but there are others - cooks, cleaners etc... Do they deserve less recognition? The realities of service provision by outside contractors is that they tend to be given on tight tenders without many of the Recipients benefits
  • Reply 6 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    For now, it appears that the change only affects those working security at Apple's corporate campuses in the U.S. There is no word on when, or if, the policy will trickle down to Apple's security activities at its retail stores or corporate locations outside the country.

    I would expect the data centers will be protected by full time employees as well, if not already.

  • Reply 7 of 37
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post



    Smart move. Then they can fire anyone that doesn't meet their standards. No red tape in the way, and the potential for more secrecy control. Hard to do that when there's an intermediate company in the way managing the staff.



    What are you talking about?  Contractors are actually more preferred than employees when it comes to "firing" them.  Firing an employee involves way more red tape.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    Apple doesn't do unions.

  • Reply 9 of 37
    The patent trolls who sue Apple should also get benefits or unionize.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    Apple doesn't do unions.

    You're not grasping the reality here. The Union requirement allows Apple to hire folks with Union benefits, ala Apple corporate benefits, they would never receive from private contractors.

    Most of these contractors would quickly adopt a temp agent model approach and screw the staff.

    Apple has no interest in securing their properties with staffing having no incentive to protect it. Building an in-house staff as corporate protection for IP and employees, as a regular Apple employee is a huge leap in benefits and salaries for these security personnel. They also have a huge set of by-laws and training to undergo to realize that they may be security, but they aren't law enforcement, and they sure as hell won't be ordering existing staff around like the Gestapo.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,486member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    What are you talking about?  Contractors are actually more preferred than employees when it comes to "firing" them.  Firing an employee involves way more red tape.




    Maybe I'm not familiar with the arrangement. Typically, if a company hires a security company, they don't have much say in who does that actual work. They don't interview the individuals like they would when hiring personnel directly. They can't say "we don't want him". That's all I meant by the red tape. Maybe I meant barriers to the ideal staff. :)

  • Reply 12 of 37
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wdowell View Post



    Good move, but there are others - cooks, cleaners etc... Do they deserve less recognition? The realities of service provision by outside contractors is that they tend to be given on tight tenders without many of the Recipients benefits



    Corporations seem to grapple with core competencies. Do you want your IT in-house or outsourced? Advantages to either. Security guards? I'd prefer company-hired guards, but whatever.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 208member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

     



    Corporations seem to grapple with core competencies. Do you want your IT in-house or outsourced? Advantages to either. Security guards? I'd prefer company-hired guards, but whatever.




    I think that there is no right or wrong answer - depends entirely on the company structure and business operate etc. I'm just giving a shout out to the fact that security isn't the only outsourced part. I mean, they probably have in-house accounting firms seconded etc. do they get ? advantages? Probably not. Look at the way other companies such as Microsoft have contract staff working with them for many  years on end with different passes etc but essentially indistinguishable from their better remunerated colleagues. I think Microsoft even got taken to court over that. It's an endless sliding scale from one end of outsource to in-house. I worked at the European Parliament - a relatively locked-down environment - a couple of years back. They brought security in house after a serious incident involving a gun getting into the building without passing through metal detectors etc.. Did it change anything? I don't know.  Anyway, all this to say, you have a point, and I'm not sure I had one other than the fact that it's never clear cut on whether one should or should not in-house things. 

  • Reply 14 of 37
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    It's a good move by Apple. Contracting out makes sense for smaller businesses who can't justify the costs of training and administering a security team. It makes no sense for a company with such huge Cupertino facilities. It also gives Apple more control over something as important as security. Pay better and you get a more stable workforce and better people too.

    Just keep in mind that the same principles don't apply to Apple's smaller facilities, particularly retail outlets. There, it makes more sense to depend on those they're renting from or to contract out the work to local vendors.

    For the record, I've worked in security for a staffing agency. The agency had a high turnover in their office staff and often newcomers would forget that specific assignments 'belonged' to me. I only kept that part-time work because those who worked for the museum we were contracting with insisted they wanted me. Contracting doesn't always mean the one doing the contracting is exploiting a worker.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member

    image 

    How they will train their new security staff.

  • Reply 16 of 37
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wdowell View Post



    Good move, but there are others - cooks, cleaners etc... Do they deserve less recognition? The realities of service provision by outside contractors is that they tend to be given on tight tenders without many of the Recipients benefits

     

    Some of them may already be internal. Cooks is one possible example. I know Google hires their Chef's and cafeteria staff directly. I would suspect Apple's Cafe Macs to be staffed by Apple employees given that there is certainly a trend for this specific job to not be outsourced, but I do not know. 

     

    ?I fully support this effort by Apple on corporate HQ security

  • Reply 17 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,741member
    Some of them may already be internal. Cooks is one possible example. I know Google hires their Chef's and cafeteria staff directly.

    Google also employs their own security staff rather than outsourcing, having made the change last year. So Apple copying Google again I see. /s

    :D


    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/10/03/google-to-make-security-guards-as-employees-rather-than-contractors/
  • Reply 18 of 37
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    At stores and other spread out facilities it makes more sense for efficiency to go with a contractor: get bundled with the rest of the mall or street or whatever. 

  • Reply 19 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    Good move.

     

    How will Apple keep the Apple Watch secure in their shops? I wonder if they will only sell the gold one in existing jewellers, rather than risk having it stolen from their own stores.




    Apple's been having custom-designed safes retrofitted to all Apple Stores over the past few months.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    Coming soon: AppleBouncers at the Genius Bar...
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