On October 18, Apple workers in Australia are on the verge of sluggish negotiation over pay and benefits

On October 18, Apple workers in Australia are on the verge of sluggish negotiation over pay and bene ...

A union representing Apple employees said on Tuesday that it was unable to make any progress in salary negotiations.

The one-hour strike planned for October18 is expected to disrupt the tech business''s store operations in the United States and add to the pressure it has experienced elsewhere in the industry.

The anticipated strike will involve around 150 of Apple''s 4,000 Australian employees who are represented by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU), restricting most customer services in at least three of the company''s 22 stores in the country, according to the union.

According to the RAFFWU, the strike would be the first for Apple in Australia and increase its worldwide exposure to collective bargaining, just as rising costs-of-living concerns raise pressures on Apple and other large businesses to unionize.

Apple and the RAFFWU have set off a series of union discussions in August, by proposing a fresh set of locked-in wage increases and conditions. In September, the unions and Apple approved more time to negotiate, which they said.

"We''ve come to the end of that today, and we still aren''t anywhere near a satisfactory agreement, so last night members unanimously approved that path," according to RAFFWU federal secretary Josh Cullinan.

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"If large groups of workers leave, it will have an impact," states the author.

Workers representing the RAFFWU in most Australian Apple stores would strike, but the impact would be strongest in outlets with more representation, according to Cullinan.

Apple is claiming that three unions want to ensure wage increases that reflect inflation - which is tracking around 7 percent in Australia, and thus double the central bank''s target number - and weekends of two consecutive days rather than being split.

Apple claims that its minimum pay rates are 17 percent higher than the industry''s minimum wage, and that full-time workers will be entitled to weekends.

"We are committed to providing the best possible experience for our employees," a spokesperson for Apple said on Tuesday.

2022 Thomson Reuters