Apple Ireland opens a first-of-its-kind product testing facility in Europe while Apple U.S. hires Anti-Union lawyers and more
It's being report today that Apple has opened a new multi-million euro engineering and test facility at its campus in Hollyhill in a significant addition to its operations in Cork.
Located in the former Banta warehouse complex which Apple acquired in 2020, the facility will test and analyze Apple products for the whole of Europe. It is only the third such site in the world operated by the company.
At the site, engineers and technicians will use a range of high-tech equipment including CT scanners and electron microscopes to test and analyze products with the aim of improving their durability and performance.
Apple's vice president of European Operations Cathy Kearney said that "The focus of this facility is to ensure the best product, durability and performance, and the lab team here will be testing and analyzing Apple's entire range of products. This facility is the first of its kind in Europe and we are delighted to have it here in Cork." For more on this, read the full Irish Examiner report.
While Apple Ireland is growing, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports today that "Apple Inc. has slowed hiring at certain retail locations for its Genius technical-support jobs, according to people with knowledge of the matter, an effort that some employees see as a cost-cutting move.
In recent weeks, Apple informed some stores that it won’t be filling Genius positions that became available after employee departures, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. The company also retracted verbal job offers for such roles in some cases. Still, Apple hasn’t laid off workers or enacted a widespread hiring freeze, according to the people. For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report.
The timing of the news is interesting in light of yesterday's news that Apple has hired anti-union lawyers in escalating union fight, reports The Verge. "Apple is working with anti-union lawyers at Littler Mendelson in an escalating fight with retail workers in Atlanta who have filed for a union election. Though the company has not publicly stated its stance on Apple Stores unionizing, the move sends a strong signal that it plans to oppose workers organizing for better pay and working conditions."
Whether the news of Apple not filling Genius Bar positions is coincidental or linked to the hiring of anti-union lawyers is unknown at this time.