Apple ‘black site’ facility tough on contract workers: Report


Current and former Apple contract workers spoke out Monday about work conditions at a secretive “black site” facility where staffers worry about job security and say they are treated differently than full-time employees.

A Bloomberg report described the atmosphere at Apple’s building at Hammerwood Avenue in Sunnyvale, California. The facility mostly houses contractors working on Apple Maps. Former workers contracted through staffing firm Apex Systems said they were constantly concerned that they would be fired and dealt with limits on everything from which bathrooms they could use to whether they could include that they had worked for Apple on their LinkedIn profiles.

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“It was made pretty plain to us that we were at-will employees and they would fire us at any time,” one former staffer told Bloomberg.

Workers at the “black site” facility – a term borrowed from the CIA – reportedly earn about $25 per hour and face steep premiums for health insurance. Roughly one dozen contractors staged a protest last November after Apex slashed paid sick time.

Other challenges described by current and former employees included different colored identification badges for contractors, as well as a directive from management that they should walk a few blocks away from the facility before hailing a ride home.

“Apex provides multiple avenues for employees to raise concerns, both directly and anonymously, and to have those concerns addressed,” an Apex spokesperson told Bloomberg.

The report comes as tech giants face growing scrutiny over their treatment of contract workers. Google has also dealt with calls for better conditions for freelancers.

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“Like we do with other suppliers, we will work with Apex to review their management systems, including recruiting and termination protocols, to ensure the terms and conditions of employment are transparent and clearly communicated to workers in advance,” Apple told Bloomberg.



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