Apple recently announced that it will increase benefits for all its retail employees in the US from April 4. According to Bloomberg, benefits will include increased vacation time and sick days, paid maternity leave and a number of other benefits. The new policy applies to both full-time and part-time employees across 270 stores nationwide.

It is not natural that Apple defects offer such a preferential policy. Reportedly, the company is struggling to find ways to retain hourly employees, plus recruiting problems in an increasingly tight labor market.

Several media outlets such as The Verge, Gizmodo, and 9to5Mac have reported on the harsh reality facing Apple employees: low wages, stressful workloads, and low morale.

In addition, Apple is also struggling with the consequences of the pandemic, many stores have to reduce opening hours, even close completely.

Last Christmas, dozens of employees marched against their harsh working conditions. These people say Apple has set many quarterly revenue records, the financial situation is not as bad as the company claims.

Apple will double the number of paid sick days for both full-time and part-time employees. Full-time retail employees will have 12 days of sick leave instead of 6 days as before.

The company also eased the approval of sick leave applications, allowing employees to take time off due to mental health problems or take family members to the doctor. Part-time employees will still be paid while on leave, and maternity leave will be paid up to six weeks.

Following in the footsteps of giants like Amazon, Walmart and Fedex, Apple hopes to retain hourly and front-line employees. Thousands of frontline workers have quit or retired due to stressful working conditions and worries about the disease.

Labor rights advocates argue that some benefits such as bonuses or risk pay are just a temporary scheme of Apple, and will soon be revoked.
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