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According to a recent report from the New York Post, Apple has laid off “hundreds of contractors” over the past few days. This move is seen as a “stealthy move to cut costs” by the tech giant.
While Apple has largely avoided major layoffs like those seen at Google and Meta, it has reportedly decided not to wait for contracts to expire and is instead firing contractors outright. The affected workers are “technically employed by outside agencies who work alongside Apple employees on projects.”
While the scale of these layoffs is unclear, insiders say that some contractors feel like second-class citizens as they are deprived of stock options, health insurance, and other benefits that are available to full-time employees. They also work more than a mile away from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, which is lacking in free snacks and other perks.
Apple has a significant number of contractor workers on its teams, such as technical support and customer service. It also relies heavily on contractors for things like the localization of products and services, as well as Apple Maps.
This is not the first time that Apple has laid off contract workers. Last August, Bloomberg reported that the company had laid off “many of its contract-based recruiters in the past week, part of a push to rein in the tech giant’s hiring and spending”. It’s unclear whether the recent layoffs are a continuation of this trend or a second major round.
In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized that layoffs are a “last resort kind of thing“, and the company prefers to manage costs in other ways. However, it appears that cutting costs by letting go of contractors is one approach that Apple is currently taking. As the company continues to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions, it remains to be seen how its staffing policies will evolve in the future.