A hot potato: The latest in a wave of workers’ rights outcries, Apple employees have been revealed as pushing back against what they perceive as an oppressive company culture. A series of letters leaked to the public express dissatisfaction about the company’s response to the current political climate, as well as several key employees hired over has uncovered what appears to be an ongoing struggle between the leadership and those producing the products that we love.
With a seat at Apple’s table being one of the most coveted positions in Silicon Valley, some are taking with these claims with a grain of salt. Others regard the matter more seriously. Antonio Garcia Martinez, former product manager at Apple, is famous for his exposé on the extraordinarily conservative culture of the industry. He was fired after one of the aforementioned letters calling for his removal went public.
Many women within the organization voiced their concerns on social media platforms like Twitter, much to the chagrin of the normally ultra-secretive company’s leadership. A petition calling for a formal investigation garnered over one thousand signatures. After The Verge released the letter after receiving it from an informant, Apple fired Garcia Martinez.
This chain of events speaks volumes to the power of social media in this digital world. Those who had drafted it originally claim that they never had the intention of getting the man fired; they simply wanted to open up a line of dialogue within the company internally.
Many assume that the letter was leaked when the leadership within the company did not take action right away. One week later, a letter from a group of Muslim employees regarding the company’s lack of a position in regard to the current events happening on the Israeli-Palestinian border was also leaked after Tim Cook declined to comment.
Apple is historically prone to taking legal action when an employee steps outside of what they regard as the bounds appropriate for one working with information protected by NDAs and other contracts. Employees who have been vocal about their qualms with the brand in the media have been met with lawsuits and other very direct messages. Still, the results that putting the matter in the public eye have brought about cannot be denied.
With companies like Amazon and Google moving toward a more equitable professional standard, the ethical arms race that the industry heavyweights are partaking in has only been catalyzed by efforts like this.