Last week the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) staged an organized protest in front of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. The demonstration focused on demands of Apple TV+, the tech giant’s streaming service, by its writers for increased pay.
The news of the protest comes as ongoing strikes by writers in Hollywood ahead of labor negotiations have left California’s storied film and television industry in a state of limbo. The protest in Cupertino reflects a shift in attention away from Hollywood and towards the corporate headquarters of the companies whose content streaming services are the subject of workers’ ire.
Writers for Apple TV+ are demanding a $17 million annual contract. These labor organizers have pointed to the company’s reported revenue in 2022 of $400 billion as a reason it should be able to afford the increased pay.
However, compensation was not the only concern of demonstrators. Instead, members of WGAW have also voiced concerns about artificial intelligence and a fear that the burgeoning but nascent technology may ultimately lead to the elimination of certain jobs and functions within the industry.
The protest took place in front of Apple’s visitor center as the tech giant and iPhone creator hosted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Members of other unions, like the Alphabet Workers Union and the California Nurses Association, joined the protest in solidarity with WGAW’s members.