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Some French Apple Store workers to strike on Friday

updated 04:12 pm EDT, Thu September 20, 2012

Protest coincides with iPhone 5 launch

A sizable number of French Apple Store workers have voted to go on strike Friday to support the demands of their union, the SUD, Reuters reports. The SUD represents about a quarter of Apple Store employees in the country, and is asking that they get water fountains, meal vouchers, and a thirteenth month of salary standard amongst French businesses. The head of the union, Thomas Bordage, has called on workers to demonstrate in front of the Opera Apple Store at 8AM tomorrow.

The timing could deal a special blow to Apple, since the iPhone 5 launches in several countries on Friday, including France. The company normally needs extra staff to handle demand during iPhone and iPad launches; tomorrow Apple will instead have to depend on a smaller workforce belonging to other unions not participating in the strike.

France is unique in having a strong union presence at Apple retail. There are essentially no formal unions at American Apple Stores, or in most other countries around the world. This is in spite of significant complaints about working conditions, such as cutbacks in part-time hours and overly demanding performance metrics.

France has 12 Apple Stores, most of which are based in the Paris area, such as the Opera outlet. The local chain employs roughly 1,000 people.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Really...unions for a retail store?! So you can get guaranteed meal vouchers, water fountains and 13th month paycheck? Wow, in the U.S. it's sorta of the unstated that you get free freeze-dried coffee...that's about it! Guess we're now considered a slave labor workforce here.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    I can't really tell if you're bragging or complaining. And, yes. I'm all for unions where ever workers feel it is necessary.
    Your incredulity could be similarly applied to so many different scenarios it's laughable, though your conclusion is somewhat strained.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Not to mention the French have the best-quality health care IN THE WORLD. Yes, better than the US.

    If that's socialism, SIGN ME UP.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'm being quite sarcastic of the situation, so to clarify. That's a nice sentiment to have for unions but if you don't like how a business is run, then go find another job or start your own company...it's that simple. But to expect perks such as these is an absurd reason to have a union. Plus, government is all the union you need these days, from minimum wage guarantees to mandated health care to unemployment benefits to FMLA, OSHA and worker's compensation.

    And how health care became a part of this discussion, I have no idea. But by all means, move to France if socialism is what you want!

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Well, obviously you are willing to do that (go find another job, move to a different country) but not every one is you (Oh thanks, Captain Obvious!). What you are suggesting is that people should not work together to acquire something they consider a necessity (regardless of whether you think so or not), or are you saying it's okay as long as it doesn't impact a company?

    Is it only a necessity if YOU need it? Is Apple struggling so badly they can't provide what is standard for workers in most other businesses there? I know, slippery slope...

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