A few kilometers from Apple headquarters, the spaceship-like office is. There are people who “Apple” the manufacturer owes many of its achievements and the lion’s share of income. But these employees are forced to work in the office-sized bathroom and to constantly panic fear of dismissal. They first spoke about his life and the “shadow side” of one of the most famous companies in the world.

Work at Apple is not only prestigious, but also comfortable. A new campus in Cupertino, California was designed and built to demonstrate Apple as an employer that cares about its employees. Here even the walls should inspire! And they inspire. Modern design, large Windows and a cafe in four floors and a fitness center the size of several football fields… But ten kilometers, namely in Sunnyvale on Hammerwood Avenue there is another building Apple.

Externally, it is of course not so spectacular as the main building. There is even a reception, but his counter never administrator. The people working in this building, mostly use the back door, not the main entrance. Most of them work on a project for Apple Maps.

Employees whose jobs are in the building on Hammerwood Avenue, said: they are obliged every day to walk a few extra blocks, so nobody could find out where they work. In the Apple building called the “shadow side”.

Those who have already broke the contract with Apple, boldly told about what they had to face. Getting a job, they did not expect a half-empty vending machines and queues in the toilets. About architecture, convenience and beauty in building on Hammerwood Avenue no one cared. The reason is simple: people hired to work on a specific project for a period of 12-15 months.

Most of the workers, even this deadline has not passed.

“At some point, we all realized that we could get fired at any time”, — said one of the former contractors.

When he talked about his work, the journalist of Bloomberg, chose not to call his name. Like most workers, this man in his time signed a confidentiality agreement.

Later it turned out that the problem was not Apple. It is not negligent leadership deliberately ordered to make work conditions for the employees is unbearable. The initiative came from the company Apex Systems, which is a contractor for Apple in personnel matters. Apple has stated that such contractors, including Apex Systems, must treat all workers with “dignity and respect”. But, alas, it was not done.


Bloomberg News has sent Apple a request, then the staff of the head office produced an unexpected audit of the building to Hammerwood Avenue. It became clear that “the working environment is not compatible with other Apple units”. However, no sanctions followed. Well, almost.

“As in the case with other contractors, we will work with Apex for a review of their management systems, including protocols for hiring and firing, to ensure the transparency of conditions and preliminary transmission of workers”, — said the representative of Apple.

The General counsel Apex buddy Omohundro and all said that the problem is not worth a jigger. He said that his company employees have many opportunities for timely and anonymous warning of problems and for monitoring their elimination.

Apex has banned employees to get sick. Under U.S. law, a person is entitled to the sick leave duration, which is necessary for recovery. The personnel Department has reduced the maximum number of “sick hours” from 48 to 24. However, the lawyer Apex of this fact, unveiled the dismissed people and proven emails that are not confirmed.

Managers Apex has been repeatedly fined workers for what they too often come to the water coolers, because their jobs at this point are idle.

“Such monitoring is superdegenerate and horror,” admitted one of the former employees.

Photo source: Pixabay

Know also the facts when people are without work and without means of livelihood. After signing a temporary contract they were looking for housing, take it out. California real estate is one of the most expensive in the country. After a few weeks of training the employees had to be tested. Those who have failed an exam, were left without work and money, but need some way to pay the rent.

Debunking the myths

Apex is just a small part of a global network of staffing firms, working with Apple. She even hired a not all the employees in the building at Hammerwood. On a project for Apple Maps working professionals not only in California’s Silicon valley, and Austin (Texas), London, the Czech Republic, and India.

Published data, the results of unscheduled audit and information from the media undermined the myth that all jobs in Silicon valley — a kind of industrial utopia. Previously it was thought that in these offices of the future are only extremely gifted people receiving huge salaries and stock options.

And then suddenly (who would have thought!) it turned out that in addition to technical specialists in building work as a waiter, drivers, toilet cleaners, testers of the software. And they all receive an hourly wage, not being sure that tomorrow they won’t be fired.

The US economy every year becomes more and more popular the employment of temporary staff on contract for a specified period. To absolve themselves of the burden of constant search of the right staff, companies in many industries are turning to firms such as Apex — recruitment agencies. A little over a year ago it became known that Google permanent employees with long-term contracts is less than half. And then there was a scandal.

Some employees of Google in the number of temporary stated their dissatisfaction. The wave of protests has been growing in the past two years. In November, this resulted in a strike. However, took part in it few: there are hundreds of people just haven’t had access to internal newsletters with information about the place and time of the event. And yet the leadership of Google sent an open letter in which temporary employees demanded better conditions of their labor.

Returning to the situation with Apple and Apex, it is necessary to highlight several reasons due to which the situation has reached a critical level. First, many workers agreed to temporary contracts in the hope that sooner or later they will invite to Apple full time. It turned out that the chances of that are extremely small.

Second, the number of employees was willing to do any work, just to add a short and succinct line “the Previous place of work: Apple” to your resume. Also did not work out very well. Initially, the managers of Apex spread specific wording that could be included in the resume and social networking profiles, and then it was forbidden to mention Apple as an employer. People were allowed only to indicate the previous place of work, “a major tech company through Apex Systems”.

Photo source: Pxhere

All of these limitations again and again reminded the staff about their low status. Dismissed people said that they felt humiliated even due to incorrect design of the main logo, a bitten Apple on their identification badges. From staff the logo was multicolored, temporary, “blue grey”. According to Bloomberg, this just surprised not worth it: many large companies use of color identification and is not proof of the “caste system”.

One of the former employees amber lutsko, who worked at Apple through the Apex in 2017-2018 recalled an inspiring speech on the opening day of office on Hammerwood Avenue.

“Now you work in the Apple! You did it! But to the gym you’re not allowed,” she told the words of the management on that day.

In Silicon valley many companies who earned his first billions with a very small number of staff. Such firms much more than the “corporate behemoths” who hired before opening a full staff: from cleaners and secretaries to specialists in the replacement of light bulbs or restocking the paper trays of the printers.

The situation with the hiring of temporary workers through contractors was described in the book “Pace” by Louis Hyman. He explained this by the rapid progress in the technical field that requires constant adjustments in the number and expertise of employees. However, before that in 1990-ies about the two-tier workforce talked to Microsoft.

Now Apple has about 130 thousand full-time employees. About three dozen staffing companies select new staff for the vacant posts on temporary contracts. That is temporary workers are picked up and placed articles in Apple News, work on the infrastructure of iTunes, respond to calls and emails in customer service. Many of them recently graduated from College and is getting approximately $ 25 per hour. This is the average hourly wage in the United States.

Those who left Apple say that it was a useful experience. Problems with housing forced people to unite to remove the house chipped, to communicate, teaching each other. Some of the “residents” of Silicon valley who spent 3-4 years, are former Apple employees hired by Apex. There are those who believe these years are lost, because many of the skills learned in the Apple, is not applicable anywhere else.

Information published by Bloomberg, was for many a shock, because previously, all submitted work in the Apple just like this:

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