Recode/TechCrunch: We’ve known for years that Apple was taking its workers’ jobs from them, but it seems that now it’s coming full circle.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s decision to phase out the entire company’s workforce of care workers, which Apple has long maintained has been the only way for the company to remain viable.
The announcement was made Thursday on stage at a media event, where Apple executives took questions from media outlets.
It was the first time the company has said publicly that it’s shutting down the entire care staff.
“We’re announcing this today because it’s a fundamental issue,” Cook said.
“If you’re going to do the job of caring for the people who live and work here, you need to find a way to get it done.”
He then added, “It’s not a perfect solution, but there’s no question we need to make this change.”
It’s unclear exactly what Apple will do about the hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. that depend on it for work.
In December, the company said it would hire up to 300,000 workers to replace its current workforce of roughly 2 million.
It is not clear whether Apple will keep its current employees, who typically make more than $150,000 a year, employed.
Apple has been forced to do a lot of work to get back to profitability in recent years, and the decision to retire the entire workforce is another indication that it needs to take some drastic action to stay in the game.
The decision to bring on employees in support roles has long been a point of contention for Apple.
While it initially relied heavily on its skilled workforce, that role has increasingly been replaced with more remote and remote-friendly positions, including a “care worker” in a lab.
Apple also said it is increasing its efforts to make the technology needed for remote work a standard in the workplace.
“Apple is making a concerted effort to develop a new generation of products that will support a more connected workplace and enable more seamless transitions between devices,” Cook wrote in a blog post last year.
The company also plans to spend more money on automation, hiring hundreds of additional human resources staff and launching a new service called AppleCare to offer support for its workers.
“Our strategy is to keep investing in our workforce to make sure we are always ready to provide the support needed to support our employees,” Cook continued.
AppleCare will offer workers the ability to send and receive texts, emails and other notifications on a 24-hour basis, but its rollout is still being rolled out, and it will be a big challenge for Apple to get a service up and running quickly, according to several experts.