Originally Posted by MacRulez
Agreed. This crowd doesn't realize that they have the luxury of spending time playing around in discussion forums because so many Americans gave their lives during the Labor Wars. They probably think Labor Day is just another chance for a barbeque.
That said, retail in 21st century California is a far cry from the coal mines of 1920's. With existing laws regarding breaks and wages (some of the positive outcomes of the Labor Wars), if these employees can demonstrate that Apple's violating the law they have a stronger case than one for merely creating a union. Apple has deep pockets, and if they're breaking the law then there's a lot more to be made here than a longer break.
But if Apple is within the bounds of the law, working there is a choice. The employees can fix this situation by finding another employer who pays more (Costco, for one example, has some of the best salary and benefits packages in the industry).
If enough employees leave, things may change. The average cost to a company to replace a retail employee is about $3500-5000, depending on the skills and experience of the individual.
Certainly Apple can afford it, but do they really want to keep wages low enough only to attract lowballers? How attractive would the Apple Store experience be if populated only by those who couldn't get a job at Costco?
Or are there enough starry-eyed people out there willing to work for substandard wages that Apple has an endless supply as long as it keeps up it's "cool" mystique?
Hard to say how this will turn out, but I don't think unionization is the best option in this case. Far better would be to vote with your feet. If an employer is abusive, staying just won't be a good time whether you get a longer break or not.
You and I do not often see eye-to-eye on these forums -- but I mostly agree with what you said, above.
And, I am OK with Apple employees (or any employees) right to unionize or take any legal collective action to improve their situation or redress perceived wrongs.
This, coming from a former owner, CEO, COO, of a small corporation (126 employees) that had retail computer stores. We sold Apples, IBM PCs, etc.
We were non-union -- but that was never an issue.
All our employees were salaried and non-comissioned -- we felt that all personnel
should treat all customers
as their customers!
We did offer bonuses for special individual performance -- and when the "team" met defined goals.
We had the best employees -- well qualified and well trained.
Our employees received top pay equal (or better benefits) than management and owners.
We promoted from within, and most of our employees were with us for many years -- very little turnover.
Most of those who left, had outgrown us -- and a large number of these went to work for Apple directly! (We had the best [Apple] computer stores in Silicon Valley -- and our main store was less than 1 mile from Apple Headquarters.
We had a lot of customers who were unionized -- and our employees had to be aware of, and comply with union regulations when we went on site (Government, Medical, Education, Manufacturing...).
Unions are a fact of life and business needs to co-exist with them.
In over 11 years, I can count on one hand the number of serious employer/employee issues.
The reasons I am detailing all this:
1) Unions are not necessarily a good or bad thing -- though anecdotally I can document both good and bad experiences.
2) If you treat your employees fairly, as equal members of a team -- you/they should find little need to look elsewhere for satisfaction.
3) Apple knows this -- and has one of the best working environments of any major corporation.