Apple attempts to appease union efforts with scheduling improvements

The company is offering even more concessions to retail workers since raising pay.

Yves Herman / reuters

Apple will make a number of changes to scheduling rules for its retail employees that the company believes will result in more flexible working hours, reported Bloomberg. The move arrives as Apple retail stores in Maryland and New York City are slated to hold union elections in the coming weeks. The changes will include changes to limits on the number of late shifts worked, consecutive days worked and the minimum amount of time that must pass before an employee is eligible to work a new shift.

According to staff who spoke to Bloomberg, Apple will make some of the following changes over the next several weeks. Others will not arrive until later in the year. Shifts must be scheduled at least 12 hours apart (up from 10 hours.) Choosing a weekend day to not be scheduled, and a maximum of five consecutive scheduled days in a row also appear to be among the concessions. And unless they opt to pick up late shifts, retail workers won't work more than three shifts per work that run past 8pm.

Apple retail workers over the years have spoken out about the demanding work schedule and low wages. The company expanded benefits for all full-time retail employees earlier this year, increasing the number of paid sick days and offering paid parental leave. It also set a new floor of $22 per hour for its retail employees last week. Still, Fruit Stand Workers United — the group in the midst of organizing Apple’s Grand Central Store — is pushing for a $30 minimum wage, tuition reimbursement and more options for retirement plans.

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