Apple has been accused of trying to cut the wages of 4000 Australian workers in “hasty” enterprise agreement negotiations.
The Australian Services Union (ASU) and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) are taking the multinational to the Fair Work Commission.
The unions claim Apple is attempting to “unlawfully” rush Australian workers into a new “unethical” enterprise bargaining agreement.
They also accuse the tech giant of preventing union organisers from talking to employees.
Apple accused of trying to cut wages
The unions allege Apple is trying to push its 4000 Australian employees into accepting an agreement that could cut their wages.
SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said in a statement that Apple had deliberately tried to rush the process.
Apple provided a copy of the draft agreement to staff on 3 August.
The company met with employees a week later without the unions in attendance.
“We are trying to play catch up here with a company that’s throwing its weight around with its workforce, operating with undue haste,” Mr Dwyer said.
Therefore, both unions are taking Apple to Fair Work seeking good faith bargaining orders against the tech giant.
“Their approach is not ethical and we also will allege this Friday in the Fair Work Commission that their approach is unlawful,” Mr Dwyer said.
The agreement is ‘unfair’
The ASU and SDA described numerous proposals Apple made to workers as “unfair”.
The unions said the global giant’s proposed 2.5 percent minimum rates increase is well below inflation.
It also argued the proposed lack of rostering protections could see employees work 60-hours in a week without overtime.
However, Apple said its employees earn “very strong compensation” for their work, including annual stock grants.
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Meanwhile, ASU assistant national secretary Emeline Gaske described the proposed agreement as “unethical” and out of step with community expectations.
“The proposed agreement from Apple may be unlawful and its attempts to ram through a substandard agreement that would leave mostly young people working up to 60 hours without overtime is unethical,” she said.
Mr Dwyer added that Apple’s behaviour was “simply un-Australian”.
“Apple likes to portray itself as a prestige company offering prestige products. It should be seeking prestige working conditions, rather than trying to sneak through an agreement that would see its Australian workers going backwards,” he said.
“With inflation above six per cent and rising, this would see Apple employees already struggling with the cost of living finding it even more difficult to pay for food, fuel, shelter and the other essentials of life.
“For a company that is making at least $11bn in profits annually from its Australian operations, its behaviour is simply un-Australian.”
The Fair Work Commission will hear the case on Friday.
Meanwhile, the parties have additional bargaining discussions scheduled this week.
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Fair Work Claims is a private consultancy and advocacy firm with no affiliation to any government agency, commission or tribunal.