Apple employees is slamming the company’s return-to-office mandate, arguing the policy is too restrictive and ignores their successful shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group of workers calling itself “Apple Together” launched a petition drive on Monday – citing the “exceptional work” done by staffers both remotely and in-office as a sign that corporate leaders needed to rethink their plans.
“This uniform mandate from senior leadership does not consider the unique demands of each job role nor the diversity of individuals,” the petition states.
“Those asking for more flexible arrangements have many compelling reasons and circumstances: from disabilities (visible or not); family care; safety, health, and environmental concerns; financial considerations; to just plain being happier and more productive,” it adds.
Apple indicated earlier this month that its corporate employees would be require to work at least three days per week on site beginning on Sept. 5, Bloomberg reported. The company had delayed its return-to-office plans several times during the pandemic due to COVID-19 case surges.
The current plan mandates that workers be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as a third day determined by each team.
An employee involved with the petition drive told the Financial Times that Apple Together plans to collect signatures throughout the week. The signatures will be verified and presented to Apple management.
The petition asks to support a list of demands including the creation of a new plan that allows employees to “work directly with our immediate manager to figure out what kind of flexible work arrangements are best for each of us and for Apple.”
Apple Together asserted that the individualized work plans “should not require higher level approvals, complex procedures, or providing private information.”
The Post has reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple Together first tweeted the petition early Monday morning and had gathered more than 100 signatures as of 9 a.m. ET.
“At this juncture we will not be releasing any specific names of individuals publicly or to exec leadership to protect our colleagues, especially in light of retail union busting and recent reports of allegations of retaliation from HR,” the employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the outlet.
The petition circulated during a period of mounting unrest at Apple, with much of the organizing efforts occurring at the company’s retail stores. Company executives have faced accusations of union-busting in response to the labor push.
Workers have demanded better pay, benefits and safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees of Apple’s flagship store in Grand Central Terminal are among multiple locations pushing to unionize. Apple has responded to the effort by boosting hourly pay and paid time off.