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Apple employees in Australia plan Christmas strike

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SYDNEY — Tons of of Apple employees in Australia are preparing to go on a strike ahead of Christmas to demand higher working conditions and wages, union leaders and staff said, a move more likely to hurt the iPhone maker’s sales and services within the country.

The lower than two-day strike by about 200 of Apple’s roughly 4,000 employees in Australia comes because the US tech giant faces disruptions as a result of employee unrest in its principal iPhone plant in China.

Members of Australia’s Retail and Fast Food Staff Union (RAFFWU) are asking Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for fixed rosters, known hours of labor, weekends of two consecutive days, and an agreed annual wage rise.

“This Christmas strike is a way for our members to take back their time with family and friends while management continues to refuse to present employees probably the most basic minimum rostering rights,” RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan told Reuters, adding management can be notified on Monday of the intention to strike.

Efforts to get management to the bargaining table immediately failed earlier this week, with Apple (AAPL.O) refusing to fulfill until February, he said.

Tons of of Apple employees in Australia are preparing to go on a strike ahead of Christmas to demand higher working conditions and wages.Getty Images

Striking employees would walk out of Apple’s shops at 3 p.m. (0400 GMT) on Dec. 23 and stay away throughout Christmas Eve, often a peak time for sales of Apple iPhones, watches, and other products.

The motion can be nationwide but would have the best impact at two shops in Brisbane, and one each in Adelaide and Newcastle where RAFFWU have probably the most members.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the negotiations but said the corporate was “proud to reward our valued team members in Australia with strong compensation and exceptional advantages.”

A picture of The Apple store.Efforts to get management to the bargaining table immediately failed earlier this week, with Apple refusing to fulfill until February.AP

In June this 12 months, Apple employees in Maryland became the first retail employees of the tech giant to unionize in the US. On Thursday, the union set formal dates in January to start out negotiations with Apple.

Apple employees staged a full-day strike in October and likewise a one-hour walkout later that month.

“You possibly can’t put a price on work-life balance,” said one Apple worker, who will join the strike but didn’t need to be identified over fears of being targeted by management.

“What we have now ended up with Apple is an arrangement where all of the non-mandatory advantages that allow a work-life balance to employees have been taken off.”

Other strike actions which have been continuing from earlier this 12 months may also be escalated, RAFFWU said, including a ban on iPhone repair and Apple Watch repairs for certain hours in some outlets, bans on answering the door in others, bans on conducting any sales, and bans on wearing the corporate’s festive red t-shirt.

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