Apple employees walk off the job two days before Christmas

Workers from one of the biggest tech stores in the world have walked off the job two days before Christmas, and refused to work their rostered shifts on Christmas Eve.

Across the country, employees from tech giant Apple have gone on strike, arguing against rostering decisions over the Christmas period and better pay conditions.

The workers on strike are all part of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU), who fight for “all retail and fast food workers in Australia.”

RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan told NCA NewsWire around 200 union members had either walked off the job at 3pm on December 23, or didn’t turn up to their rostered shift.

“A big thing for them was to go home and spend time with their families, because they’re basically treated like casuals and they have to work whenever they’re told to work,” Mr Cullinan said.

“That’s one of things we want to change.”

Mr Callinan said that despite the majority of the employees holding part time contracts, they’re treated like casual staff and being paid less, all while working under the expectation they have full availability for rostering.

“That is the issue – Apple actually doesn’t employ any casuals, they employ part timers but treat them like casuals,” he said.

“One of our arguments is that casual workers at JB Hi-fi that sell iPhones get paid more.”

Similarly, Apple workers also went on strike in October, with another 200 union members stopping work for the tech giant for an hour between midday and 1pm.

Workers went on strike to “replace their old rotten zombie agreements” after working on a deal with the business that would see cuts to their “conditions and wages” to below Award minimums.

Mr Cullinan said the workers who chose to strike over Christmas instead of working their rostered shifts can’t technically be punished for doing so under union agreements, but instead were giving up any rights to be paid for those hours.

“It’s a very convoluted process, the laws are very restricted now,” he said.

“They are protected – they can’t face any consequences – but they also aren’t 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 that the two suburban Queensland Apple stores in Chermside and Carindale were trading normally.

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