back to article Apple FINGERED our personal packages every day, claim shop staff

Two Apple store staffers, who say they are fed up with out-of-hours bag searches, are suing the iPhone giant for compensation. The pair's class-action lawsuit claims the Cupertino company is bent on preventing "employee pilferage" and forces workers to wait in a queue for up to ten minutes to have their handbags or "personal …

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Big Brother

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I understand why they feel the need to do it, but who checks the security staff (or management, or whoever it is) ?

V.

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Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

While they maybe don't get checked personally, presumably the shop manager (and possibly by extension any security staff) will face penalties if head office starts to think too much stock is "disappearing" from the store.

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Coat

Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Obviously, they frisk each other.

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Big Brother

Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Indeed. Who watches the watchers?

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Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

@Stuart,

ITYM Who watches the iWatches.

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Anonymous Coward

Canned Apple response

If you don't like our employment policies... there's the door (but just go through security on your way out)

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Anonymous Coward

Canned Government Response

If you don't like *our* employment legislation... there's the border (but just remember to pay off all that overtime on your way out)

And let's bear in mind that this is retail- i.e. in this case it's about Apple selling things, not making or developing them- so if a given company wanted to (say) throw a strop and close all their shops, they don't have the same value (and hence leverage) as a factory or software development centre. It's quite likely their place would be filled by someone else who wants to sell the same or similar items.

Incidentally, this is why the Google spokesperson was weasellishly disingenuous when being interviewed about the Google UK ads tax dodge a couple of months back. He implied that Google would like to invest more in the UK- implying that more development jobs could come here if conditions were more favourable. But of course, the profits that Google was avoiding paying tax on in the case being discussed had nothing to do with that- they were on advertising *sales* in the UK and aimed at UK companies (and their customers)... not development jobs.

If Google wants to negotiate favourable terms for investing in development jobs in the UK, one might- or might not- be willing to consider this if it's in our benefit. But that's certainly not the same as selling ads here, and if Google wanted to stop doing *that* in the UK because the tax loophole had been closed, then they'd be quite at liberty to take their ball, go home and let someone else grab the business instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1st world problem

If that happens to me (phone ringing at knock-off time) then I take that time back the next day. Most workplaces are flexible and if they aren't, you're right, you should look for a new job.

I think the employees are absolutely right. If Apple want them to take a security check, they should be paid for the time. And if they're not, they can tell Apple to do one.

Suing is just setting a precedent for the rest of the employees, good on them I say. Too many employers rely on "goodwill" from their employees, when we all know that if push came to shove, they'd lay us off in a heartbeat if the business needed it.

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Holmes

Re: 1st world problem

It is still against American labor laws to be engaged in ANY company required activity and not be paid if you are an hourly employee.

That's why it's a matter for the court. It's the law, see?

As for why how long, hourly employee usually can't afford lawyers. And this complaint may have taken this long just to get filed by the lawyers, who first have to make sure they even HAVE a case. An investigation that is not done overnight.

Lawyers and the courts are not known for their speedy service.

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WTF?

Re: 1st world problem

> Wish I could sue my employer for everytime that i'm _just_ about to leave my desk and go home and the phone rings and i'm stuck here for the next 40 minutes!

Hey @jai, if you don't like the working environment, why don't you get a job elsewhere?

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Re: 1st world problem

There is reason to dawdle since as long as the action is ongoing there is no statute of limitations and it only makes sense to have the greatest possible injury as it gets the greatest possible payout. I expect that if it is as pervasive as they say there will be class action rumblings starting shortly. This could end well, for the lawyers.

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Re: 1st world problem

Lawyers and the courts are not known for their speedy service.

Perhaps because they are charging by the hour and expecting to be paid for it?

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Doing it wrong

Surely if you get caught with a stolen iThing by one of these checks you must have hidden it wrong...

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guess

I am going to guess that they wouldn't have this policy if employees weren't nicking stuff in the first place.

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Facepalm

Re: guess

During my student years, I used to work in the local PoundLand for extra beer money, and they used to do very strict searches on all staff as they left the building. Cash office staff I could understand, but what would us shelf lackeys be able to steal other than a bottle of Jucee Squash or a Chinese knock-off Moshi Monsters Lip Gloss set?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: guess

Let's not beat about the bush: apparently some shops loose more stock to their own staff than they do to shoplifters. Yes, theft by retail staff is a problem, but then so is working in a place where, every day, one is treated like a thief. I wouldn't want to work there.

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Re: guess

Most shops in the Rag trade lose FAR more.

The door way security systems are to convince staff that "shrinkage" can't be blamed on the public.

They are often set sensitive at first and then turned down to reduce the false positives. Professional thieves know how to beat them.

The Motion sensor for alarm system behind & above till is often covert CCTV.

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Re: guess

But most of these thefts are staff loading a pallet of coffee/chocolate/cigs back onto the truck with a nod to the driver - not slipping a slipping a few frozen pies down their pants

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Don't drag the bag

> they are fed up with out-of-hours bag searches

... and yet they still insist on taking bags to work with them (or more significantly: trying to take them out, afterwards). Slow learners, or what?

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Holmes

Re: Don't drag the bag

At HP, is was pocket searches and metal scanners. Much like American airports.

It often took 10-15 minutes to leave the building. Bags weren't even ALLOWED.

I calculated I was losing almost 55 hours per year of unpaid time.

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Joke

Re: Don't drag the bag

You should have sued them...

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Re: Don't drag the bag

When I worked at HP searches were random. So yeah some days it might take 10 minutes to get out of the building but 90% of the time it took longer to walk across the car park.

All the nicked stuff was going out on a van anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Fire them

American companies don't need work-shy scroungers. Let them move to some socialist commie state where they can live off other people's tax payments.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fire them

"Let them move to some socialist commie state where they can live off other people's tax payments."

I realise that you're trolling, but it's quite the opposite- once those people are paid for the time they've had wasted on their employer's behalf, they'll be paying *more* tax on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Christ what next - suing as your train was late, suing as you had to park at the far end of the car park, suing as a colleague bought in cake on their birthday and you felt obliged to eat it and had to do another 10 minutes at the gym? Where does it end.

If you don't like the job / conditions - do everyone a favour and leave.

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Facepalm

See post above regarding the LAW.

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Compensation

Were you aware that if your train is delayed by an hour or more you are most likely due compensation.

If your tube journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more then your journey should be gratis.

Your examples are all based on your own choice, the employees are not given the choice to leave without having their bag checked.

It's about compensation, people should be properly compensated for what they do.

What would be the problem with keeping them on the clock for the time they spend being checked?

I don't work for free, and you're not doing yourself or anybody else any favours if you do.

Work to Live, not the other way round.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Compensation

Sue everyone. Where there's blame there's a claim. Eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Compensation

What next - work somewhere where they have a uniform and sue because it's not your colour?

If you don't like the job / conditions get another one.

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Anonymous Coward

Make like an (Apple) tree and leaf...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Compensation

> the employees are not given the choice to leave without having their bag checked.

Of course they have a choice - they can get a job somewhere else or start their own business or... But no, they take the root of the typical hand-wringing liberal and sue the people who actually make money.

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Meh

Re: Compensation

Root = Route, liberal??? There is no point in suing the people who don't make money. Apart from these basic errors your post is a poor troll. Please make more of an effort next time :-)

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Re: Compensation

I love all of the "find another job" comments, spoken by people who have obviously been blessed enough to never have been job-hunting in a poor economy.

Given your options for solving lack of job satisfaction, can we assume that you support setting minimum wage to zero, and elimination of the Department of Labor and OSHA? After all, none of those are needed if all job concerns can be taken care of by simply getting a new job. Totally free market right, what could possibly go wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Compensation

> who have obviously been blessed enough to never have been job-hunting in a poor economy.

Wrong.

And there is a job, there is *ALWAYS* a job. People only say their isn't when they are too stuck-up to take a job that's on offer. This is why social benefits encourage laziness and need to go. GET A JOB! ANY JOB! There is no excuse (maybe disability) for being unemployed and living off the tax raised by others.

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This can only go bad for fellow employees.

Apple could decide to have a no more bags policy which means no more bringing lunches either. That will cost every worker.

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FAIL

Re: This can only go bad for fellow employees.

You are either trolling or.... trolling.

Companies cannot prevent employees, unless under dangerous/hazardous conditions, from bring their lunches.

As bad as many seem to want the 19th century back, we're NOT there yet.

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FAIL

Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Because there is so much fun, in an Ealing comedy way, to be had here.

Imagine *every* employee turns up with a bag with hundreds of dummy iPhone/iPads/iPods inside ?

And of course bags containing fermented Norwegian fish products ...

On a more prosaic note, could the staff and management not discussed this and come up with a solution ? I mean of the top of my head, how about secure lockers outside the stock area ? I.e. what any other company would have done ?

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Facepalm

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

It's not about the bags, it's about the unpaid but company mandated activity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Yeah that's dead funny - you must have them rolling on the floor at work. But maybe, just maybe consider that your idea would make the situation worse - I wonder how long they would do it if it made the delay even longer?

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Stop

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Alternatively, how long would Apple continue with this policy if the checks started taking hours rather than minutes ? After all, the security guards have to be paid for the time they are there. If these checks started costing Apple $200 per shift rather than $20, they'd get the message.

If the staff banded together, and agreed to suffer a little extra pain, for collective gain, they could *easily* win.

The problem is anything which looks and sounds like collective activism in the workplace in the US is regarded with deep suspicion as "socialist". You know. Like universal healthcare.

Luckily some of us did study a bit of history, and know the sacrifices our ancestors had to make to give us the conditions we have today. It would be a poorer world if they had decided against acting because it might "cost a few minutes".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

So your answer is make it difficult for them so they can't check if people are thieving - so people who are can get away with it? Let's get it straight are you against it because they are not getting paid or against it on the principle?

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Mushroom

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

I am against it, because Apple are making their staff pay for *Apples* problem. Apple are free to introduce the security measures they feel appropriate (Clearly those security measures haven't gone as far as making an unsold/unactivated device inoperable) but they can't make the staff pay for such measures (with their time).

Personally I am against companies who want to own their employees - and the US leads the way here. Rafts of companies testing employees for alcohol, and inviting ones "with a problem" to "address the issue" or get a new job. If *my* employer want's to mandate what I do outside the office, they can pay up or shut up.

I had an interview for a US owned company* that included tobacco testing in their contract. Positive and you are disciplined. They only hired non-smokers.

*Kalamazoo for doubters.

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Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

"I had an interview for a US owned company* that included tobacco testing in their contract. Positive and you are disciplined. They only hired non-smokers."

Surely that is discrimination....

.... Oh wait, I forgot. Smokers are one of the few minorities you are allowed, nay, encouraged to discriminate against.

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Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Reminds me of a South Park episode (as does everything at the moment)

TOUR GUIDE: We have to accept people for who they are and what they like to do. Hey! What the hell are you doing?

SMOKER: Oh I was just uh-

TOUR GUIDE: There's no smoking in the museum!

SMOKER: But I'm not in the museum.

TOUR GUIDE: Get out of here, you filthy smoker!

KYLE'S FATHER: Yeah, dirty lungs!

....

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Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

The punchline being it was the "museum of tolerance"

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Happy

Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Mmmm!.... Hakarl and durian fruit salad.

Personally I'd just use the products to create a Massive torrent server inside the store.

or something similar..... anyone remember that guy who broke up acrimoniously with his girlfriend, went on holiday for a few weeks expecting the house to be a tip. He returned to find the house neat and clean,except for the phone, off the hook , with a foreign sounding voice on the other end.

She'd phoned the Japanese speaking clock.

Classy!!!!

Suggestions?

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Employee Motivation

The beatings will continue until morale improves

If you treat your staff with obvious disrespect then it is ridiculous to expect loyalty from them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Employee Motivation

So instead just let them walk out with the stock? Hmm...

Ever wonder why they check / cross check the cash tallies in a bank - or even when you pay in £500 it really is £500 - what disrespect they should just trust you of course?

iPhones at £400-500 a pop are pretty pocketable and I'd imagine they must have lost quite a few.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Employee Motivation

You really reckon it's unfair to check people are not taking resellable, £500 a pop iPhones / other kit? Guess banks and jewellers just work on trust and don't mind the employees taking the odd Rolex or ring?

And FFS why should they have CCTV to spy on me putting cash in the till? That's it - unless a company has no issue with me taking whatever stock and money I like I'm not working for them ;)

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