Several construction workers who had been hired to build the exteriors of the new building were ordered to leave the site in January due to prior felony convictions, reports The Chronicle. The move is unusual for construction as typically that type of work does not require a background check.
“Apple is always nervous about preserving its proprietary information, and yet I don’t know how this would affect that concern,” said Michael Theriault, president of Iron Workers Local Union 377. “Our folks put the wire in the reinforcing bar (of the building). It makes no sense to me.”
Apple has told construction companies that anyone with a felony conviction or facing felony charges "does not meet owner standards." Union officials have written letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and state Attorney General Kamala Harris asking for a change in policy but no direct response has been received.
Theriault and Meakin point out that the positions that formerly incarcerated workers hold “are largely through employment in services such as construction.”
“Apple’s prohibition against employment of former felons or those with a pending felony charge does not just fail to address inequality, then, but amplifies it,” they wrote. “It is, moreover, an evil precedent.”