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Apple to increase starting pay for hourly workers to $22 per hour

Apple has begun notifying employees that it will increase the starting pay for hourly workers to a minimum of $22 per hour, with other markets seeing even higher wages.

Apple issued a statement to employees on Wednesday, informing workers that it would be increasing its hourly wages for retail employees.

"Supporting and retaining the best team members in the world enables us to deliver the best, most innovative, products and services for our customers," said Apple in a statement seen by The Wall Street Journal.

"This year as part of our annual performance review process, we're increasing our overall compensation budget."

The boost to $22 per hour marks a 45% increase over 2018's wages. Salaried positions are also expected to increase.

Apple has likely made the move to get ahead of a chain of unionization efforts that have begun around the U.S. Employees cite stagnant wages, poor benefits, and lax health protocols among the reasons to unionize.

Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien pushed back against recent unionization efforts at some of the company's brick-and-mortar locations in a new video to staff members. She has said that the efforts could slow workplace progress and potentially harm the relationship between Apple and its employees.

Apple has recently been accused of violating the National Labor Relations Act and countering an ongoing union drive at Apple Cumberland Mall in Georgia.

The company previously circulated anti-union materials to some store managers and has hired well-known anti-union lawyers to respond to the Atlanta union campaign.