As shutdowns caused by COVID-19 remain in place, Apple has committed to paying its contractors. The Wall Street Journal reports that initially, some contractors were told their jobs would be suspended without pay during the shutdown, but Apple has clarified that position.
As the report explains, Apple employs “hundreds of contractors who work as janitors, bus drivers and perform other functions on its campus.” According to janitors and union representatives, Apple told employees that they would “lose wages and health-care benefits” during the shutdown.
Contractors representing about three-fourths of the unionized janitors began this weekend telling workers they would lose wages and health-care benefits, according to Denise Solis, SEIU-United Service Workers West, a union that represents about 11,000 janitors in Northern California
Apple, however, says that’s not the case. The report cites a statement from Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, who explained that Apple is working with all suppliers to ensure that hourly workers are still paid during COVID-19 shutdowns. The unionized janitors make around $18 per hour plus $10 in benefits, the report says.
On Monday, in response to an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal, a spokeswoman said the janitors’ pay would continue. “We’re working with all of our suppliers to ensure hourly workers such as janitorial staff are being paid during this difficult time,” spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said after the Journal’s inquiry about the job elimination notices.
Huguet added that she did not know why some contractors were told they wouldn’t be paid during COVID-19 shutdowns, but janitors say that they were called to an Apple office over the weekend to be told that the jobs were being eliminated.
Apple will also continue to pay bus drivers as well, despite similar confusion surrounding the situation:
A similar situation has unfolded for unionized bus drivers who shuttled Apple workers to and from the company’s Cupertino campus. WeDriveU Inc. and Hallcon Corp., who manage shuttle service for Apple, this weekend notified the local Teamsters that about 100 drivers would be laid off over the next week because Apple hasn’t committed to paying those drivers, said Stacy Murphy, a Teamsters vice president.
Nonetheless, Apple will continue to pay bus drivers, and apparently committed to doing so in mid-March:
Apple said it would continue to pay drivers and connected the Journal with its largest transportation provider, Lux Bus America. The bus company’s Chief Executive Matt Brown said Apple committed in mid-March to paying the wages of about 140 drivers, maintenance and operations employees.
Apple employees around the world have been working from home since earlier this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple Stores are also closed until further notice, with hourly workers still receiving their normal pay. Apple has also switched WWDC to an online-only format for 2020.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.