The worm in the Apple

Union activists protest low wages of Cupertino security guards

Hundreds of people packed into a line snaking through the Fashion Valley mall outside the Apple Store were greeted by a group of protesters sympathetic to a group of security guards working at the company's Cupertino headquarters who are seeking higher wages and union representation.

"Security workers protecting the Apple campus and stores are having to work two job while Apple is making billions in profitss," said local United Service Workers organizer Genoveva Aguilar. “We hope to put pressure on Apple to pay their workers a living wage."

The union-affiliated group says security workers are being driven off the payroll of corporations such as Apple and subcontracted through staffing agencies in order to avoid paying benefits received by other employees and hide their low wages. The group handed out leaflets that contrasted the approximate $61,000 hourly wage of Apple CEO Tim Cook with an average $14.17 hourly for Apple campus security guards, which falls below what they say are Silicon Valley self-sufficiency wages of $19.36 per hour for a family of four with two full-time workers.

Mall security personnel in Fashion Valley were kept busy trying to corral the protesters in an already-constricted space given the gathered crowd. Picketers ended up funneled into a circular marching pattern, shouting chants such as "Apple, Apple, you're no good, treat your workers like you should."

The San Diego demonstration was one of several planned across the state to coincide with the release of Apple's new iPhone 6, which provided a queue-bound captive audience for their message. Though several of those in line were appreciative of the distraction from waiting, none appeared ready to forego their intended phone purchases.

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