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France’s Apple Employees Go on Strike as iPhone 15 is Released

Workers at Apple stores across France have gone on strike, demanding higher wages. The nationwide strike by approximately 2,100 workers was timed to coincide with the release of Apple’s latest phone, the iPhone 15, in France. Despite the strike, eager customers still lined up outside the stores to be among the first to purchase the new phone.

Even in heavy rain, around 40 shoppers braved the strikes and lined up outside Apple’s flagship store in central Paris to buy the iPhone 15. At the same time, a similar number of Apple employees were outside, holding placards demanding better pay.

French labor unions are requesting a 7% pay increase for all Apple store employees in response to rising inflation. However, Apple has offered an average 4.5% increase, which the unions have rejected.

Striking Apple store workers hold a picket line in front of the flagship Apple Store in central Paris, Sept. 22, 2023, as customers wait behind them to get into the store on the release day for the new iPhone 15. 

Chesnot/Getty


The offer from Apple is below the current inflation rate in France, which stands at 4.9%.

The strikers are also demanding an end to the company’s months-long hiring freeze.

The main union representing Apple employees in France, Cidre-CFTC, issued a statement expressing their concerns:

“Apple has often been an exemplary company, and the vast majority of its employees are proud to work there. However, dialogue has been nonexistent for the past several months. Mandatory annual negotiations have been disregarded without any meaningful discussion during two meetings.”

This strike is just the latest challenge for Apple’s operations in France.

Is the iPhone 12 banned in France?

Earlier this month, Apple was forced to halt sales of its iPhone 12 in France after it was found to have radiation levels exceeding the safety threshold set by the European Union. The French government’s minister for digital technology stated that Apple has agreed to make the necessary changes to ensure compliance with EU regulations in future iPhone models.

Apple has consistently maintained that the iPhone 12, which was released in 2020, is safe. The company claims that the test results in France were “related to a specific testing protocol.”

The French unions representing Apple store workers also believe that employees should receive a larger portion of the company’s substantial profits. In June, Apple became the first company to reach a market value of over $3 trillion on Wall Street, surpassing France’s GDP, which was reported as $2.78 trillion by the World Bank in 2022.

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