Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, there’s sure to be a long line of excited customers at just about every Apple store across the nation. Despite the overwhelming popularity of Apple’s products, the company refuses to pay a living wage to the security guards and janitors who work tirelessly to protect and maintain the company’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino.
To help raise awareness for these workers at Apple, a group of IBEW 1245 organizing stewards joined up with SEIU-USWW’s nationwide “Tech Can Do Better” campaign and volunteered to hand out flyers to Apple customers who were waiting in line for the new iPhone on the day it was released. Eight members of IBEW 1245 (plus three family members) joined the Fresno action, and two IBEW 1245 members joined the action in Sacramento.
Organizing Stewards PJ Saenz and Lupe Flores took the lead in organizing the Fresno action. According to Saenz, many customers and mall patrons asked questions and most were willing to listen to the facts they presented.
“Our message was simple: We’re here to support all Apple’s workers, including the hardworking people who guard, clean, maintain, and landscape the HQ. We discussed how ridiculously unfair it is that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook makes almost $62,000 per hour, while these workers make less than $15 per hour – and the average rent in Santa Clara County [where Apple’s headquarters is located] is more than $2100 per month,” Saenz reported. “Many were astounded and appalled to hear these numbers, and though we didn’t discourage anyone from buying the iPhone 6, we did bring awareness to the startling income inequality faced by these workers.”