According to some people familiar with the matter, the raises is one of the first major initiatives by new Apple retail chief John Browett, who took over earlier this year for Ron Johnson, now the chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has about 36,000 retail employees who work at about 350 stores worldwide, about two-thirds of which are in the U.S.
As Cory Moll, an Apple employee in San Francisco, explained, some workers have complained that hourly wages aren’t enough for co in the metropolitan areas where many stores are located.
“People have definitely listed it as a top issue,” said Moll, who started the Apple Retail Workers Union in an attempt to unionize U.S. store workers. “Because of our low wages we often can’t afford to buy the technology that we sell.”
Moll, who has worked for Apple Inc. since 2007, revealed that he’s getting a 19 percent raise, to $17.31 an hour. Apple is also instituting employee discounts, he said. Workers will receive either $500 off a new Mac computer or $250 off an iPad, he added.
Last year, an Apple’s employee, Jordan Golson, managed to sell about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H. It was a performance that might have called for a bottle of Champagne — if that were a luxury Mr. Golson could have afforded.
“I was earning $11.25 an hour,” Golson said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”
Aside from the pay, current and former Apple Store workers stated more negative features of working in the company including limited upward mobility, and constant stress from the ever-increasing foot traffic.
Internal surveys have shown that employee satisfaction at several locations is “surprisingly low,” especially among technicians.
Of course, the iPhone maker refuted the claim in its statement: “Thousands of incredibly talented professionals work behind the Genius Bar and deliver the best customer service in the world.”
“The annual retention rate for Geniuses is almost 90%, which is unheard-of in the retail industry, and shows how passionate they are about their customers and their careers at Apple.”
Some reports claim that Apple managers encourage employees to stay for six years, but they generally leave after two and a half. These employees come in sprightly and excited but leave after realizing a career path with this giant company really isn’t feasible from the retail level.
“Perhaps it’s not evidence of another evil within Apple but rather a disappointment born out of big expectations. You go in hoping for Disney World but find even the less interesting rides still have lines,” Venture Beat writes.