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Tim Cook got a 500% pay raise last year. Now Apple store employees are considering unionization


Apple Store employees at several locations around the country are taking steps to unionize as the divide between hourly workers and executives at the tech giant grows wider.

The Washington Post reports at least two stores are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the near future, with an additional half-dozen in earlier stages of labor organization talks.

The impetus to unionize comes as retail workers grow unsatisfied with their compensation as inflation soars in the U.S. It also follows word that Apple CEO Tim Cook’s 2021 compensation increased 569% last year, hitting $98.7 million—$3 million in annual salary, $82.3 million in stock awards, and a $12 million cash bonus. That works out to 1,400 times what the average Apple employee earned.

The potential for unionization at Apple Stores comes on the heels of Starbucks workers in many locations successfully launching the first union in the company’s history, something Starbucks has actively fought for years. Amazon, too, is not finished with a bitter union battle, as workers in Alabama will have the opportunity to vote again after a judge ruled the company “gave a strong impression that it controlled the process” by arranging the installation of a mail collection box at the warehouse.

Apple has 270 Apple Store locations in the U.S. and over 500 globally. Last year, the company reported revenues of $378 billion, and in January, it saw its market capitalization top $3 trillion—the first company to ever do so.

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