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Apple to hike starting pay for retail workers as they push to unionize

Apple is raising wages for its retail workers as the technology giant faces a unionization push at the company's stores.

Starting pay for Apple's hourly workers in the U.S. will rise $22 an hour, the Wall Street Journal first reported. The iPhone maker announced the new pay changes in an email announcing an increase in its compensation budget to employees Wednesday. Starting salaries for employees, meanwhile, are also expected to rise. 

"Supporting and retaining the best team members in the world enables us to deliver the best, most innovative, products and services for our customers," an Apple spokesman said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "This year as part of our annual performance review process, we're increasing our overall compensation budget."

Apple did not immediately reply to CBS MoneyWatch's request for comment. 

The pay increases come as more Apple workers push to form a union and gain a seat at the negotiating table. For one, workers have revolted against Apple's return-to-office policy, calling it "inflexible" in an open letter to executives. 

"The Hybrid Working Pilot is one of the most inefficient ways to enable everyone to be in one room, should the need arise every now and then," workers said of the plan laid out by their employer.

"Stop treating us like school kids who need to be told when to be where and what homework to do," the letter also stated. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook's pay package this year was valued at $98.7 million, including a $3 million salary.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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