we went to see an Apple Store on strike for the release of the iPhone 15

For the release of the iPhone 15, employees went on strike, which is clearly not usual within the company. No replacement of departures, increase too low, we went to meet the meeting point in front of the largest Apple Store in France, Place de l’Opéra in Paris.

Under heavy rain, Apple’s most devoted fans flocked around 9:15 a.m. in front of the Opera Apple Store to pick up the new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro. A queue forms, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s even a little quiet, whispers a regular. Is it because of the bad weather, or has the strike movement by Apple Store employees discouraged you? Hard to say.

In front of the Opera awning, the usual blue sweaters with apple logos are eclipsed by fluorescent orange chasubles. These are those of the CFDT union, 2nd in terms of representation (around 30%) within Apple France, neck and neck with the CFCT. The union has arranged to meet here because it is the most prestigious Apple Store in France, spread over 3 floors and welcoming 300 employees.

From 2600 to 2200 employees

The image is strong. We could almost believe it to be Midjourney as we are not used to it. Initially, the employees had only received authorization to picket on the sidewalk opposite, but pressed both by the issue and by the presence of the press, they decided to improvise a short speech with the iconic apple logo behind them. The opportunity is too good.

“The Apple Watch saves lives, they can take care of the financial health of their employees. We are in contact with Japan, Spain, the UK, Italy, all these countries which cannot speak, we also speak for them. We think that if Apple is capable of doing ecology, why can’t we do social work? »asks a representative of the CFDT.

“We just want decent salaries, we have colleagues who have a standard of living that does not allow them to live in the 10 biggest cities in France”breathes Renaud Chateauroux, CFDT union delegate and specialist at the Apple Store in front of which he is on picket line. “We have people who are forced to work two part-time jobs to make ends meet, and today, with Apple, the richest company in the world, that is not possible. We must not allow ourselves to have people who end the month in the red. Since October 2022, in France, we have gone from 2,600 to 2,200 employees due to a policy of departures not replaced. We end up with repairers who sell iPhones, stock people who help at the Genius bar”, whispers the employee. Remember that Apple is one of the companies making the most profits in the world, to the tune of $119 billion in 2022.

The union ensures that the 20 stores in France are affected by the movement with an average of 10 employees mobilized. Why not more? “ Because losing money to gain it is a bit of a vicious circle”regrets Renaud Chateauroux.


An Unsa representative who calls himself Seb agrees: “It bothers us to strike when an iPhone is released, because we love our job all the same. But faced with management that doesn’t want to hear anything, we feel obliged to react. We know we’re pretty well off, but socially, the others are catching up with us and things aren’t changing much. We are told that we are endangering the company, but we must stop, above Apple, there is only the sun. »

A group of employees carries a sign reading #Expectedmore. This refers to the internal performance rating system. This is separated into three grades: except more (we expected more), achieved exception (expectation reached) and exceeded expectation (reach exceeded). This is of course a joke which consists of turning the system around to judge Apple’s social policy. The strike is scheduled to continue this Saturday, September 23. Some striking employees hope that the movement will continue and gain even more momentum, without certainty at the moment.

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