Apple is one of the most important companies in the world, that is why getting a job there is no small thing. Yet despite what one might expect from a company of that size and all the benefits it could bring, for some people it has not exactly been synonymous with a dream job.
In recent months, a number of longtime Apple employees have exposed the company’s bad practices, but the company has done nothing more than ignore the situation or simply fire those it sees as threats.
One of them is Ashley Gjøvik, who was a senior manager of engineering programs for more than six years at Apple. After having exposed situations of harassment, misogyny, surveillance and security in their workplace for months for Twitter, Apple fired her on September 9. The reason was that he allegedly violated company rules by leaking confidential information.
As a result, Gjøvik has filed multiple charges with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) related to the way Apple has treated her and employees in general. The latest charge alleges that the anti-leakage memorandum Tim Cook sent (and leaked to The Verge) could violate U.S. labor law.
This refers to a note that Apple CEO Cook sent to all of the company’s employees in mid-September. It said: “the people who leak confidential information do not belong” to Apple, adding that the company was doing everything in its power “to identify those who made the leaks.”
On the other hand, Gjøvik’s co-worker, Cher Scarlett, decided to take matters into her own hands within the company. Building on the Me Too movement of 2017, which primarily exposed sexual assault in the workplace, Scarlett, also an Apple engineer, pushed #AppleToo at the end of August this year.
This was a label created to share bad experiences when working at Apple, exposing situations of racism, sexism, intimidation and, in general, any type of discrimination or harassment exercised towards employees within Apple, including people with disabilities.
“Apple doesn’t care about its employees. He cares about money, ”Scarlett said in an interview. “Maybe that is capitalism, and so are corporations. But I can’t live my life accepting it and not saying anything about it ”, added.
In one week, Scarlett collected more than 500 stories, covering different issues. However, they all had something in common: that the human resources department had done nothing to reverse or improve the situation of the affected employees in the company.
Scarlett She is currently on paid medical leave, due to internal harassment she has received while advocating for telecommuting and pay transparency.
Now, a month after the movement was created, Apple is once again garnering attention, and not in the best way. This time the company has fired Janneke Parrish, who until recently served as a program manager for Apple Maps and who also led #AppleToo.
Parrish She was fired for deleting files from her work devices while an internal investigation was underway, which pertained to apps like Robinhood, Pokémon GO, and Google Drive. Parrish removed them because they contained his bank details, but this action was described by Apple as a “breach.”
However, Parrish, who worked at Apple for five years, said she believed she was fired for speaking out publicly about problems within the company as the leader of the movement. #AppleToo.
“I have spoken a lot, I have been very public. I have not been afraid to put my name and match my face with #AppleToo. This sounds a lot like retaliation for having the courage to speak up, ”he told The Guardian.
“We have a culture of secrecy and loyalty to the company. Raising your voice is considered fundamentally unfair. I knew from the moment I spoke that my career at Apple would be more or less over, “he added.
Apple wants to prevent data from being leaked, as happened with Facebook
Apparently, the company has been making decisions based on the repression of the leaks and the organization of its workers, who after years of enduring mistreatment have decided to uncover everything and seek a better environment for their colleagues. Something quite admirable considering the consequences of messing with a giant in the tech industry.
On the other hand, everything indicates that with these measures Tim Cook wants to prevent his company from going through the same as Facebook, another multinational that has been in the eye of the hurricane due to leaks and complaints from people who passed through the company.
In early October, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen revealed that she was the one who leaked thousands of internal documents to The Wall Street Journal as part of his devastating and extensive research on the company.
Said leaks revealed that Facebook has a secret system that allows 5.8 million users, such as politicians and celebrities, to circumvent the company’s content rules. In addition, they showed that internal teams knew that Instagram made many teenage girls’ body image problems worse.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later responded to Haugen’s testimony saying that many of her claims “don’t make any sense” and that she is painting a “false picture of the company,” despite all the evidence from the former employee. , who is currently preparing to appear before lawmakers from the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Returning to the case of Apple, who knows what the next step of the company will be. However, it is hoped that all the effort of those who have spoken will not be in vain and Apple really takes over.
“One of the goals of #AppleToo is to ensure that all those who have not had a voice, all those who sought help and found none, have a voice. These stories represent a systemic problem and need for improvement, ”Parrish wrote as he shared the stories of various workers in Medium.