Workers at one of the world’s largest tech stores quit their jobs two days before Christmas and refused to fill their rosters on Christmas Eve.
Across the country, employees at tech giant Apple have gone on strike, opposing roster decisions over the holiday season and better pay conditions.
The striking workers are all members of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) fighting for “all retail and fast food workers in Australia”.
RAFFWU Secretary Josh Cullinan told NCA NewsWire that as of 3:00 pm on December 23, about 200 union members had quit their jobs or failed to show up for their shifts.
“One big thing for them was going home and spending time with their families because they’re basically treated like opportunists and have to work whenever they’re told to work,” Mr Cullinan said.
“That’s one of the things we want to change.”
Mr Callinan said the majority of staff who are on part-time contracts are treated like casual workers and are paid less, while still working with the expectation of being fully available for rosters.
“That’s the problem — Apple doesn’t actually employ casual workers, they employ part-time workers, but they treat them like casual workers,” he said.
“One of our arguments is that casual workers at JB Hi-Fi who sell iPhones are paid better.”
Similarly, Apple workers also went on strike in October, with another 200 union members walking for an hour between 12pm and 1pm for the tech giant.
Workers went on strike to “replace their old rotten zombie agreements” after working on a deal with the company that would see their “conditions and wages” cut below the minimum wage.
Mr Cullinan said workers who chose to strike over Christmas rather than work their roster shifts technically cannot be penalized for doing so under union agreements, but instead forgo all rights to be paid for those hours.
“It’s a very complicated process, the laws are very limited now,” he said.
“They’re protected – they can’t face consequences – but they’re also not paid for the time they’re on strike, so that’s a consequence for them.
“But they are protected in their actions.”
Mr Cullinan said the main stores affected were in Brisbane and Adelaide, but investigations by the Courier Mail found Apple’s two stores in the Queensland suburbs of Chermside and Carindale were trading normally.
Originally posted when Apple employees quit their jobs two days before Christmas