updated 09:00 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012
Company will match gifts up to $10,000
Apple retail workers' advocacy group AAPLRetailUnion has tweeted that the company's charitable gift-matching program, begun by CEO Tim Cook in September, has now been extended to part-time employees in the US (and will go worldwide soon). The program matches donations to 501c(3) charities by US workers up to $10,000 per year. In the short time the program has been active, Apple and its employees have given over $2.6 million to charity.
The program was one of Cook's first new initiatives upon taking the CEO mantle and signals a company shift in its approach to charity. Under former CEO Steve Jobs, Apple rarely made public contributions, though it would occasionally team up with existing charities on specific projects.
The Apple Retail Worker's "Union," a movement started by a current Bay Area Apple retail employee and appearing to be a group of one, exists to raise awareness of what it says are abuses and unfair conditions at Apple retail workplaces. Apple, which would normally tend to be against unionization of its workers, has recently raised employee benefits (including a large price break on Apple hardware) and requires bi-annual training of its managers on legal issues surrounding unionization and related issues.