• Apple is firing contract-based workers outright: Report
  • Contractors claimed they were treated as 'second-class citizens'
  • Apple did not over-hire during the pandemic unlike Meta and other big tech firms

Apple is quietly laying off hundreds of contractors, and some contractual workers have revealed how they are allegedly put into a poor work environment, a report said.

The Cupertino-based company has started cutting ties with hundreds of contractors over the past few days, according to the report by the New York Post's On The Money. Sources revealed that instead of waiting for contracts to expire, Apple is axing contractors outright.

Sources further said Apple doesn't see the move of letting contractual workers go as firing employees but as part of the efforts to cut expenses.

One contractor claimed to have felt "blindsided" by Apple's recent decisions. It is unclear how many contractors the tech giant has but past reports suggest that the company has thousands of contractual workers.

Insiders, cited by the New York Post, also claimed that contractors felt they were being treated as "second-class citizens" since independent contract-based workers generally do not work at the headquarters and are not eligible for health insurance and stock options.

Apple has a large number of contractual workers working on customer service and technical support, as per 9To5Mac. The company also relies on contractors to manage Apple Maps and the localization of services and products.

The company last laid off contractors in August, as reported by Bloomberg. At the time, the layoffs reportedly affected the recruitment unit. About 100 contract-based recruiters were let go in mid-August, the outlet reported.

Apple is the only big tech company that has not yet announced substantial workforce reductions, unlike Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft and Amazon.

The reason why Apple has avoided massive workforce cuts as with other big tech companies could be because the company did not go on a widespread hiring spree during the pandemic, as per Fortune.

"This signals a better quality of management at Apple compared to other technology companies that clearly read the signals during the pandemic the wrong way," Peter Garnry of Saxo Bank A/S told the outlet.

In comparison to Alphabet which saw a 60% increase in workforce figures during the pandemic, Apple's headcount only increased by 20% during the 2020 to 2022 period.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had to make changes in its hiring processes and spending amid the global economic downturn that forced many tech firms to cut costs. "I view layoffs as a last resort kind of thing," Cook recently told the Wall Street Journal.

Cook did admit that the iPhone maker "can never say never," but that it wants to manage operational costs "in other ways."

Guests arrive for at the Steve Jobs Theater for an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino
Apple has avoided massive layoffs unlike other big tech companies.