Founder Of #AppleToo Files Formal Complaint Accusing Apple Of Labor Rights Abuses
For years now, America’s biggest tech firms have tried to portray themselves as oases of tolerance, allowing workers to speak up about controversial issues without fear of being fired, or retaliated against. Over the years, workers have put this to the test.
At Alphabet, an employee-led backlash led the company to pull out of China. And when it quietly tried to re-enter the Chinese market, workers blew the whistle, and stopped it yet again.
Amazon, which has reportedly treated its workers more like machines than human beings, has been accused by the NLRB of rigging a union election at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. following myriad reports about the company’s mistreatment of its workers, contractors, drivers and even its white-collar workers.
A #MeToo scandal at Uber led to the ouster of its founder Travis Kalanick.
But as eager as Apple has been to finally move past the controversy surrounding Epic Games’ lawsuit against the company and its app store (and whether it constitutes an illegal monopoly), a white-collar labor battle appears to be blowing up.
For the 7th time since August, a former Apple employee has filed an unfair labor practices complaint alleging that the company fired them based on some flimsy pretext, when in reality, the reason they were terminated was for engaging in protected organizing activities.
The Verge reports that Jenneke Parrish, who founded the #AppleToo movement, has filed a complaint accusing Apple of terminating her for “false and pretextual reasons”, mostly because she “spoke up regarding her personal experiences regarding workplace concerns and helped give voice to her co-workers’ concerns in a workplace where such issues have been systematically siloed, suppressed and unaddressed.”
Parrish’s is being represented by labor attorney Laurie Burgess, who is also representing organizers allegedly fired by Netflix and Google on a pretext.
“It seems like all the tech companies are using the same playbook,” says labor attorney Laurie Burgess. “They get rid of outspoken organizers by asserting they are responsible for a leak without any proof or documentation that that person was indeed responsible. My client denies having leaked this information.”
According to the Verge, last month, former Apple senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik accused CEO Tim Cook of violating the National Labor Relations Act when Cook warned employees that “people who leak confidential information do not belong here” – comments that were exposed in the wake of the WSJ’s release of the “Facebook Files”.
Another former Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett filed a complaint in September alleging the company stopped employees from engaging in protected activity when they tried to collectively discuss their pay.
The Verge, which has become one of the go-to media outlets for tech workers to leak damaging information about their employers, is probably going to be busy these next few months as progressive tech workers finally wake up and realize that the real “battle” that needs to be fought has nothing to do with LGBT rights – but instead is about labor organizing to expose the hypocrisy of Big Tech companies who embrace any progressive value that doesn’t threaten their bottom line.
Tue, 11/02/2021 – 17:25