updated 04:27 pm EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
Part-time staff see cutbacks in hours
In recent weeks Apple has been laying off a significant number of recently-hired workers at its retail stores, according to sources in the chain in contact with MacRumors. Most accounts are said to be coming from workers in the UK, but are filtering in from other countries as well. In the US and Canada, Apple is said to be performing long-term cutbacks in the hours granted to part-time staff.
One source claims that at a store in the UK, everyone with less than six months' history was laid off, even a group that had been hired just a month before the cuts and recently finished training. The store has also allegedly put a freeze on further hiring and transfers between locations. At another UK outlet, three training groups have reportedly been laid off during the last week. A store in an unmentioned country is said to have not only gotten rid of recent hires, but actually demoted some long-term workers who had recently been promoted and never saw their increased pay.
Regarding the part-time adjustments in North America, hours have been scaled back to zero in some cases; while Apple is said to have promised that back-to-school sales would lead to more hours, the rebound has failed to materialize. At one store the company has supposedly lopped several hundred hours' worth of shift time off as of earlier this month, and moreover restricted vacation time in a bid to keep full-time staff around while limiting the need for part-time people.
Why Apple would be cutting back so drastically is uncertain. In any case the company will probably need more help in September and October as it attempts to cope with one or more major product launches, namely a sixth-generation iPhone.