Apple Store employees have been using Android phones to help keep their unionizing efforts secret, report says

  • Apple staff in at least eight Apple Stores have begun union drives, The Washington Post reports.

  • Employees have used Android phones to eliminate the possibility of detection by Apple, The Post said.

  • Apple staffers told The Post that their wages hadn't kept pace with inflation.

Some Apple Store employees have used Android phones to eliminate the possibility that the company could snoop on them as they explore unionization, The Washington Post reported.

To avoid detection, staff exploring unionization have held secret meetings, communicated using encrypted messaging, and sometimes used Android phones rather than iPhones to avoid any possibility of snooping by Apple, The Post said, citing anonymous sources familiar with union drives at multiple Apple Stores in the US.

Mobile operating system Android is Google's competitor to Apple's iOS.

The Post said that staff from at least two US Apple Stores were close to filing unionization paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board, and at least six other US stores were in earlier stages of the process.

Apple workers told The Post they were in part encouraged by successful union drives among Starbucks staff.

Employees at one Apple Store told The Post that managers had begun pulling staff aside to try and persuade them unionization would not be beneficial, saying unions would hurt employees and mean that Apple took away their benefits.

Apple this month offered raises and increased benefits to employees, according to Bloomberg. Workers at several Apple Stores told The Post that the raises were not enough in some cases, as some staff received increases of less than one dollar per hour.

The workers told The Post that wages had not kept up with inflation. "I have a lot of co-workers and friends who I genuinely love and they do not make enough to get by," one Apple Store labor organizer told the newspaper. "They're struggling and they're hurting and we work for a company that has the resources to make sure that they're taken care of."

Apple did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on The Post's report.

A group of Apple Store employees walked off the job on Christmas Eve to protest working conditions.

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