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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple Store Employees Soak Up the Atmosphere, But Not Much Cash 654

raque writes "The NYTimes is reporting on just how badly Apple Retail employees are being paid. Apple is exploiting its fan base for cheap labor. This is one reason I don't go to Apple Stores if I can avoid it. Stores like NY's Tekserve offer a great shopping experience without so exploiting their workers." Would you rather start at an Apple store for $11.91 an hour (average starting base pay, according to the linked article) and an employee discount, or at Tiffany for $15.60?
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Apple Store Employees Soak Up the Atmosphere, But Not Much Cash

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:16PM (#40424215)

    My wife works at an Apple store and pulls in $29.15 an hour working the genius bar. Which means that she would have been able to qualify for the mortgage we took out three months ago just on her salary. The 25% employee discount is nice also.

    Methinks the poster has an axe to grind with his inflamatory language.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:22PM (#40424269)

    at $0.50 CDN above minimum wage. Got screwed into Call Director (hit 0) wages because of a scheduling conflict. Seriously.

    Worst thing is, it was that or McDonalds at minimum ($9.60 at the time)

  • by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:28PM (#40424341)

    Funny how the summary didn't note why the article was just published, Apple just gave everyone raises. Reports are that geniuses are being paid in the ballpark of $30 an hour now, which is reasonable for an IT focused job.

    From TFA:

    "Even Apple, it seems, has recently decided it needs to pay its workers more. Last week, four months after The New York Times first began inquiring about the wages of its store employees, the company started to inform some staff members that they would receive substantial raises. An Apple spokesman confirmed the raises but would not discuss their size, timing or impetus, nor who would earn them.

    But Cory Moll, a salesman in the San Francisco flagship store and a vocal labor activist, said that on Tuesday he was given a raise of $2.82 an hour, to $17.31, an increase of 19.5 percent and a big jump compared with the 49-cent raise he was given last year."

  • by D'Sphitz ( 699604 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:57PM (#40424521) Journal
    A quick google shows fast food starting pay is right around $8/hour, retail at $9/hour, so I'm having trouble generating any outrage over Apple paying $12/hour.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @08:01PM (#40424551)

    Are you telling me that people cannot live on 22K/year?

    Here is a man that raises his family of four on 27K/year:

    I live on 28K/year (making 90K/year, mind you!).

    My two roommates live on the 12K/year stipend for their research.

    My girlfriend lives on 15K/year.

    None of us are on welfare. All of us have savings cushions. All of use drive our own (paid for) cars (between 15 and 4 years old, mine is the oldest). All of us can afford to do reasonable things: going to swim with dolphins this weekend, all of us have spent at least 1 week in a foreign country this past year, several of us have had theme-park weekends, and we each eat out of the house about once per week. We are not about to claim welfare.

    Fuck you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @08:15PM (#40424671)

    ... (S)He did not make that up...

    In public policy, a living wage is the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs (for an extended period of time or for a lifetime). These needs include shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition. In some nations such as the United Kingdom and Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation. In addition to this definition, living wage activists further define "living wage" as the wage equivalent to the poverty line for a family of four.

    The living wage differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and can fail to meet the requirements of a living wage - or is so low that borrowing or application for top-up benefits is necessary. It differs somewhat from basic needs in that the basic needs model usually measures a minimum level of consumption, without regard for the source of the income.

    The ILO uses various criteria to recommend minimum wage levels: the needs of workers and their families, the general level of wages in a county, the cost of living, social security benefits, the relative living standards of social groups and economic factors such as economic development and employment maintenance. The living wage focuses more on the needs of worker units, social security benefits and cost of living.

    Living wage and minimum wage are two different things. Living wage is defined by the wage that needs to be met that can meet the basic needs to maintain a safe decent standard of living the their community and have the ability to save for future needs and goals.[1] To meet living wage people need to make about $12.50 an hour. Currently the minimum wage across the US is $7.25, which is well below living wage. In 1990 the first living wage campaigns were launched by community initiatives in US addressing increasing poverty faced by workers and their families. They argued that employee, employer, and the community win with a living wage. Employees would be more will work helping the employer reduce worker turnover ratio and it would help the community when the citizens have enough to have a decent life.[2]

    Poverty threshold is the income necessary for a household to be able to consume a low cost, nutritious diet and purchase non-food necessities in a given country. Poverty lines and living wages are measured differently. Poverty lines are measured by household units and living wage is based on individual workers.

    A related concept is that of a family wage – one sufficient to not only support oneself, but also to raise a family. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @08:24PM (#40424727)

    I admit, I'm a bit of an Apple hater sometimes. It's their attitude, towards thinking they own basic concepts, but I digress. I did a quick check to see what competing retailers are paying.

    Best Buy sales associate $9.70:
    Fry's Electronics sales associate $9.19:

    They are paying more than the going rate it seems. Though I'm sure it's worth it if your are trying to fill your store with hipsters that the apple fans can look up to as the apostles of apple...

    Anyway, for me this story is doesn't seem to have any basis that I can clearly see.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @09:13PM (#40425117)

    Groceries are easily $400/mo

    Don't eat out much. Buy and cook in bulk. Save leftovers. Buy generic over brand name, etc. You can get that number down. I'd say $200 a month per person (and I bet there are slashdotters who could get that down to $100 a month per person!) is a good target for most of the developed world, unless you're in an unusually expensive location.

    Such attempts at cost savings don't make much sense, if you earn a lot of income since they often take time to do and your time is more valuable doing other things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @09:20PM (#40425159)

    Actually no most people haven't. Housing cost have gone down, but it's almost impossible for someone to get a mortgage to afford one. I don't care how nice or big a house is, most people can not simply put +80k down on a new place. So they are left rent, and rent has not gone down. If anything it's gone way up. Hell I'm in AZ (one of the worse hit areas of the state to boot), I've seen homes and apartments going for 30-50% more then they where 2 years ago! The town home right next to mine was going for 1200/month two years ago when I moved in. Since then people have moved in and out, and the new tents that live there are paying 1655/month. Housing for the bulk of the population is generally going up, not down.

  • by jbplou ( 732414 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @10:47PM (#40425723)

    Very few entry level salaries at retail stores pay "living" wages. I don't think you understand that low skilled jobs don't pay high wages.

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @11:03PM (#40425819)

    Not in New York City they're not, and that is what the New York Times is talking about.

    Are you sure about that?

    ...Jordan Golson sold about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H.

    Well, I guess I can't blame you, since they hid this way down the article in the first sentence...

  • by atlasdropperofworlds ( 888683 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @05:09AM (#40427497)

    >Oh, and he always claims how he can get x specs for y dollars, yet he never provides concrete, verifiable examples.

    I just checked the HP website. I just picked a random 15 inch laptop there (the pavillion dv6tqe), and specced it, as close as I could, to the 15 MBP. I got the price up to $1200 ($1450 less $250), but it had more RAM (8 GB) an HD antiglare display, a kepler 650M with 2 GB of GDDR5 (the MPB's kepler comes with 512 MB). I also threw in a 9 cell battery which is rated at 9 hrs of battery life and a 750 GB HDD at 7200 RPM (the MBP has a 500 GB 5200 RPM HDD). The 15" MBP is still $1799 without options. If I had just upgraded the pavillion's graphics and display and nothing else, it would cost about $1100, but would still have double the RAM and HDD space and a higher resolution display. A $700 price difference is big when you consider that the cheaper system is specced higher. The retina MBP is more interesting, but when I was mucking about with it I had a hard time finding a way to actually use the high pixel density. I like pixel density, and I like that apple is pushing it, but 15" laptops don't need resolutions that high - it's just not usable.

  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:14AM (#40427713)

    Seems fair enough to me... Did some googling for other retail jobs you might be unlucky enough to do...
    McDonalds Cashier: $7.63
    McDonalds Manager: $9.69
    Burger King Cashier: $7.92
    Burger King Manager: $10.55
    Macy's Sales Associate: $8.51
    WalMart Sales Associate: $8.82
    WalMart Manager: $11.15
    Sony Sales Associate: $9.81

    Apple Shop Flunky: $11.72
    Apple Genius Bar Employee: $18.06

    Basically, it seems that yes, Apple pays its retail employees pretty well... In fact, it seems to pay it's retail flunkies more than most shops pay their managers.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal