Apple workers slam tech giant for ‘isolation, degradation and gaslighting’

Apple employees are slamming the company for “isolation, degradation and gaslighting” in the workplace as part of a new labor organizing campaign called #AppleToo. 

“For too long, Apple has evaded public scrutiny,” reads a site recently launched by the group. “The culture of secrecy creates an opaque, intimidating fortress. When we press for accountability and redress to the persistent injustices we witness or experience in our workplace, we are faced with a pattern of isolation, degradation, and gaslighting.” 

The organizing effort is intended to include workers across all lines of Apple’s US business, including corporate, retail and repair workers, according to the organizers.

On a Twitter account launched Monday, #AppleToo shared reports of discrimination at the company. One alleged former employee said a black Apple colleague had been fired after a white employee falsely said he assaulted her, while another said that a male co-worker had been paid more for the same job despite having less experience. 

The group encouraged current and former Apple employees to submit their stories through a private form on the #AppleToo website. 

Apple CEO Ted Cook is dealing with employee discontent over alleged discrimination and the company's return to office policy.
Apple CEO Ted Cook is dealing with employee discontent over alleged discrimination and the company’s return-to-office policy.

“It’s time to Think Different,” the group wrote in reference to Apple’s iconic slogan.

The organizers and Apple did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Just 15 current and former Apple staffers are directly involved in the organizing effort, according to The Verge. An Apple engineer involved in the effort named Cher Scarlett shared a link to the site in two internal Apple messaging channels on Monday, the outlet reported.

People seen at an Apple store near Apple Watches.
“It’s time to Think Different,” the organizers wrote in reference to Apple’s iconic slogan.
Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

While the organizers are light on specific stories or details, they are accusing Apple of unethical behavior across the company. 

“When our stories are collected and presented together, they help expose persistent patterns of racism, sexism, inequity, discrimination, intimidation, suppression, coercion, abuse, unfair punishment and unchecked privilege,” the group wrote. “We are working together to craft a statement on our behalf, reflecting our stories and an outline of changes we expect to see Apple make.” 

The organizing effort does not appear to include workers at the Chinese factories that manufacture Apple products, where reports have emerged of high schoolers working 11 hour days in violation of the country’s labor laws to meet demand for products like iPhones and Apple Watches.

A wide open Apple store with customers.
“For too long, Apple has evaded public scrutiny,” the organizers said.
Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The news also comes amid discontent among Apple’s highly paid corporate employees over the company’s return-to-office policy, which says employees must eventually work in person three days per week.

In a June letter, a group of corporate employees bashed the policy, saying “many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple.”