Silicon Valley's top tech firms are infamous for paying their help borderline-poverty wages, including private security. Today, some of Apple's retail and corporate guards protested their low pay at the company's flagship shop in San Francisco.

According to multiple protesters and reporters, tweeting under the hashtag #TechCanDoBetter, contractors organized by the SEIU labor union staged a sit-in at the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco. Holding signs reading "Invisible No More" and "Opportunity for All Our Communities," the protesters peacefully occupied the store for over an hour before a confrontation with police.

As it became clear Apple employees were going to "wait the protesters out," the contractors allegedly decided to block the doors to the store. Police officers then declared the demonstration illegal, and then arrested a dozen of the protesters.

From freelance journalist Julia Carrie Wong, who live-tweeted from the scene:

San Francisco Police Officer Officer Albie Esparza confirms to Valleywag that 12 protesters were "cited and released for disobeying traffic officer and blocking sidewalk."

We have reached out to SEIU and Apple for comment. We will update this post when we receive a response. To contact the author of this post, please email

Photo: Stand for Security