You sit there and claim you've all this experience in business, and then turn around and say that because they sell $750,000 worth of merchandise, they're worth so much more in pay. Why? What work do they do that's worth this money? It's the people designing and marketing the merchandise doing the heavy lifting. A trained monkey could work the Apple sales floor. Make the case for Apple paying them better, and don't just go with "Apple has so much money, they should spend it on the sales drones". That's an excellent way to stop turning a profit because then Apple's spending money in excess of what they need to in order to get what they want from the sales drones. Use things like their qualifications, something that they can do that you or I couldn't do. Why would these poor, beleaguered workers work in Apple if their pay is really that bad compared to their qualifications and abilities?
Originally Posted by Solaris
First, I didn't claim to have "all this experience in business". I was asked a question and answered it.
Second, a trained monkey couldn't
work the Apple sales floor and generate record sales and profits for the company. While it is true that Apple branding is such that Apple products have a high sales conversion rate simply because a customer walking into an Apple store is prepared to purchase an item, top sales performers are very much upgrading sales to more expensive items, adding accessories to customer baskets, selling maintenance programs, and generating very high customer service marks for the company that drive returning customers and subsequent sales. A top performer at an Apple store is a distinctly qualified employee, has undergone significant training at Apple and probably elsewhere, and is doing all of this in a hectic and incredibly busy work environment.
Your disdain for workers is clearly well developed, but the suppositions it's generating for you are inaccurate.
Third, had you read either of the articles I referenced, you'd know that Apple is the most profitable company in the world, generating 1.5 times the profit of its next most profitable business, and is projected to generate $45-50 billion
in profits this year. Their new CEO is being compensated $378 million
for his work in 2011, which is 15,120 times the $25,000 the NY Times cites Apple store workers as having earned prior to their recent pay raises. That's an outrageous pay differential.
In that NY Times article, the store worker who generated $750,000 in annual sales was making $11.25/hr at the time. Assuming he worked full time, that's $23,400 a year. A commission-based salesperson bringing in that volume of sales might be able to make $60,000 to $75,000, depending on commission percentages and incentives. That's a big disparity.
Another worker quoted in that story just got a 19.5 percent wage increase. "Though a significant increase, Mr. Mollís new salary of about $36,000 puts him on the low side of the wage scale at the other large sellers of Apple products, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, both of which offer commissions to sales staff at their stores."
Apple is otherwise considered a good company. There's plenty of perfectly average or crappy companies that treat their workers much worse.
Some of you are going to respond that a worker who's unhappy at Apple should then go work for one of those other companies, but you're missing the point, which is that employers in our system do not pay employees what they are "worth" or their true value to the company. They pay them what they know they can get away with paying them, even when they have more than sufficient profits to pay them a higher living wage, and this compensation system has repercussions throughout our society.
It has economic repercussions: 35,000 retail Apple workers making just $15,000 more each year would have a large impact on their local economies. That's only $525 million, well within the means of a company making $45 billion in profits. They could afford to pay 10x that much without making much of a dent in their fiscal year.
It has quality of life repercussions, allowing those workers to start a family, or seek further education, pay off debt, or acquire luxuries.
It has personal valuation repercussions, where the workforce is empowered as a valuable component of society. Workers being justly compensated don't have to be constantly thinking about the future or how to get into a higher-paying job, and can instead make additional contributions to society from a place of stability. That, in return, allows them to be more productive in their workplace and earn even more profit for their employer.
Not every business has this luxury. I had to layoff my worker, and I never paid her what she was worth because I couldn't afford to. Some companies do have that luxury, though. Thankfully, some of them do better at respecting their workers. The vast majority, however, will do as little as they have to. Walmart is a great example of this, but there are thousands upon thousands of them.
Fifth, how else do you propose that I type my words, if not sitting down? These missive are rather lengthy to punch into the smartphone that I don't own.