French Apple Store Workers To Strike On Friday, Just In Time For iPhone 5 Release

A large number of Apple retail store workers are expected to go on strike in France on Friday; the move is meant to show support for the demands of their union, SUD.

SUD currently represents nearly 25 percent of Apple Store employees in the country. Union demands include water fountains, meal vouchers, and a thirteenth month of salary standard amongst French businesses.

Thomas Bordage, the head of the union, has called on Apple employees to demonstrate in front of the Opera Apple Store at 8 am Friday.

The maneuver to go on strike on September 21 is not a coincidence; tomorrow is the international launch of the Apple iPhone 5. When iPhone devices are released, Apple typically requires additional temporary staff to be on hand to help with iPhone and iPad launches.

To make up for missing workers, Apple will be forced to call in workers from smaller unions who are not taking part in the strike.

Apple does not face the same type of problems at American retail locations because they are not unionized. France is rather rare in its support of Apple workers via unions. Most Apple locations around the world are without union backing.

SUD is also complaining that Apple has cut back part-time hours, has demanded impossible to achieve performance metrics, and has largely ignored workplace conditions for its staff.

There are currently 12 Apple retail locations operating in France, most of which can be found in and around the Paris area.

Apple employs nearly 1,000 retail employees in the immediate Paris vicinity.