Apple’s employees were reminded of their rights to speak up about their wages and working conditions in a statement sent out Friday evening. The announcement comes after months of employee mobilisation under the hashtag #AppleToo.
“Apple is firmly dedicated to providing employees with a workplace where they feel safe, appreciated, and inspired to do their best work,” according to a statement acquired by CNN Business via an internal employee site.
Employees are encouraged to share issues “in the manner that feels most comfortable to them, whether internally or externally,” according to the statement. The memo was first reported by NBC on Friday.
Employees at Apple (AAPL) have defied the company’s long-standing culture of secrecy in recent months, speaking up about contentious hiring decisions, alleged pay inequalities, and remote work restrictions.
According to the movement’s website, two Apple employees, Janneke Parrish and Cher Scarlett, founded #AppleToo in August to help the company’s employees “organise and protect ourselves.” They invited staff to submit their experiences with topics such as racism, sexism, and discrimination in order to define “changes we expect to see Apple make.”
Last month, Parrish told CNN Business that they got hundreds of reports from employees about the alleged incident within weeks that “range the gamut from sexism and ageism to disclosures of rape and suicide,” she said.
Parrish filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this month, stating that she was fired from her employment as an Apple programme manager in October because of her organising efforts. (At the time, Apple stated that it “takes all concerns seriously and thoroughly investigates anytime a concern is made,” but that it “does not discuss particular personnel situations.”) Scarlett’s last day at Apple was Friday, she announced on Twitter last week.
According to Parrish, Apple’s statement on Friday represents a victory for the #AppleToo movement.
“It’s something that we’ve wanted Apple to communicate for the entirety of #AppleToo,” Parrish said. “It’s definitely not the end of the road but it’s a really big first step and it shows what workers speaking in unison can achieve.”
She went on to say that one recurring thread in the #AppleToo stories is that employees don’t realise they have the right to speak up when problems arise.
According to her, the company’s new announcement will “help break a systemic culture of silence concerning our working culture and pay equity.”