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Apple rumored to be initiating 'union awareness' training for retail managers

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
Apple on Tuesday will launch a new mandatory training program to educate its retail managers on how to deal with unions.

According to an internal document first obtained by CNET, all new store managers will be required to take the training course, which starts Tuesday. All managers will also be required to take it biannually.

"This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do's and don'ts of dealing with unions," the course's description reads. "This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers."

The training is also billed as a "great opportunity" for managers to meet the company's legal team and ask any questions.

It's possible the training is meant as a defensive counter to recent calls for an Apple retail union. In May, a group called the "Apple Retail Workers Union" contacted members of the press to gain publicity and support in hopes of unionizing in response to "unfair treatment" at Apple's retail stores.



The company's retail initiative turned 10 years old this year, with a total of 357 stores around the world as of the end of September. The unit, however, is in flux, as Ron Johnson, the executive who built Apple's retail stores into a booming business, left the company at the beginning of this month to become the CEO at J.C. Penney. Apple has not announced his replacement, though the company has said it is actively looking for his replacement.
post #2 of 86
Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.
post #3 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

Welcome to the 19th century.
post #4 of 86
If unionizing means much improved working conditions, fair wages and promotion based on merit / talent instead of seniority then I'm all for it.
post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Welcome to the 19th century.

So how's 2011 treating the 99%? Oh that's right...
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

Submitting this post as one of the funniest of the year.

Well done!

post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Welcome to the 19th century.

1. He's right.
2. Unions didn't get big until the 20th century after the New Deal. In the 19th they were violently put down by big business and government working in tandem.
post #8 of 86
If unions come to Apple you can kiss the retail business goodbye. I for one will never enter another Apple store. I will mail order my Apple products. No union has EVER made a company more productive, competitive or innovative.
post #9 of 86
Many big unions are scum and they use thuggish tactics and violence to try and get their way. They're against secret ballots for workers, that's pretty undemocratic and they're basically a legalized version of the mob. They're all about grabbing as much money as they can for themselves, regardless of the consequences.

Steve Jobs was particularly against the teacher's unions and spoke about how they were destroying the educational system in the US.

This isn't the 1800's, screw the unions, especially ones whose members wear ugly purple shirts and whose members march around like a bunch of braindead zombies on speed, assaulting people and often resorting to violence, because they are a savage bunch of fascist lowlifes. They are downright anti-American.
post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvance View Post

If unions come to Apple you can kiss the retail business goodbye. I for one will never enter another Apple store. I will mail order my Apple products. No union has EVER made a company more productive, competitive or innovative.

Tell that to the Germans, Swedes, Danes and Dutch among others. They work with effective unions and have for more than a century.
I suppose well have to kiss you goodbye.
post #11 of 86
"union awareness training" = "anti-union brainwashing"
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvance View Post

If unions come to Apple you can kiss the retail business goodbye. I for one will never enter another Apple store. I will mail order my Apple products. No union has EVER made a company more productive, competitive or innovative.

Well, let me be the first to enlighten you...

Their called trade unions and this is how they make companies more competitive:

First, let me put things in perspective. Construction is an industry where companies are limited by their own capacity to man work and get bonding for the financial part. The second part isn't what I'm focusing on, but the first is. You see, if a job comes up that will require 100 men to man the work, and you only have 30 on staff, where are you going to get the extra men? You can do one of two things: Either you don't bid on the work, or you hire help. Hiring help takes time and resources. First, there is putting out ads, partnering with someone like Monster.com, or whatever. Then, there is the hiring process. For every person you hire, you see many applicants that don't qualify. That leads us to the second problem. Companies are usually responsible for training, certification, and licensing of apprentices. That level of training and competency varies. For instance, I live in an area the borders 3 states. If the company is an electrical company that only does work in one state, they'll pay for training only for the state they do work in. So, if my company is looking to hire people licensed in all 3 states, it's a crap shoot as to who is applying and what background they come from. Next is the issue of human resources. Every person hired has different demands. This person wants X amount to work, this person wants Y. This person requires 3 weeks vacation, that one requires 2. It goes on and on. This requires good record keeping and must be kept on top of by the payroll department, as well. Then, when times get lean, it's often hard to let go employees, knowing well you probably will never see them again, and it'll be difficult to get people with their qualifications and work ethic. Many employers even keep them on in lean times, despite losing money, because they simply don't want to lose their core guys.

Enter trade unions. They're multi-employer. They're a pool of qualified tradesman. If I needed 70 men to man a job, I'd have to make one single call to the union hall and tell them the qualifications I need. They maintain a list of qualifications of each member. The members that meet the qualifications will report to work on the day they are requested. If they can't meet the demand, they pull from neighboring union halls to meet the demand. Also, the union handles all fringe benefits. Healthcare, retirement, and everything. There is no paid vacation. The union is also responsible for training, certification, and licensing. Since the union is a business, itself - of providing labor, it's in its best interest to train and certify its members as much as possible to make them as employable as possible. So, with one phone call, I can have 70 new qualified and licensed employees report to work with little paperwork. I've just eliminated a sizable pool of employees who would otherwise handle human resources and benefits and made it the job of just one person, instead. I also eliminated the cost of training those employees. I pay a flat rate that pays all benefits and on the check pay and everyone makes the same. I now have a known cost that I can use to estimate my labor costs. Sounds improbable? I was on a job that manned up more than 900 people of my trade, alone. There were 2000 people for a maintenance shutdown at a chemical plant that lasted 6 weeks, the vast majority brought in by simply placing a call to each necessary union hall, with a few that were company regulars, as well. Then, when the job is over, they get cut loose, that quickly. No regrets, no animosity, nothing. A company can shrink and grow in manpower that easily and have confidence that when they need competent skilled labor again, it just takes a phone call.

Now comes the kicker... The unions employ people whose jobs are to go out and secure work for the union contractors! They're out lobbying for the success of MY business! They're called business agents.

Personally, I think unionization is a personal matter. I don't hate people who aren't union workers, even though I'm a union member. Some companies take care of their employees, some don't, and others are flat out abusive. I do know that companies aren't looking out for my best interest. If you've been injured on a job, you'd know what I mean. My brother works for a company where it's an unspoken thing that filing a worker's comp claim is something you wouldn't dare do. That's pretty sad, and probably pretty typical of companies that do work where employees might get injured. I'm glad I have the backing of my union. I wouldn't have it any other way in the dangerous construction career I'm in.
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

"union awareness training" = "anti-union brainwashing"

A friend recently got a job at Target and they pretty much said that the union training there was exactly as you described.
post #14 of 86
What does union awareness mean? Apple is not a union shop as far as I know.

I'm all for buying American but that has nothing to do with unions. Unions are good, unions are bad, outsourcing to China is good, outsourcing to China is bad. Republicans are bad... I have nothing else to report.

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post #15 of 86
Unions have been directly responsible for the destruction of many industries in the USA. It isn't even debatable at this point. Unions lost their way a long time ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charel View Post

Tell that to the Germans, Swedes, Danes and Dutch among others. They work with effective unions and have for more than a century.
I suppose well have to kiss you goodbye.

Europe is basically falling apart right before our very eyes. Even the Chinese said they where suffering from sloth recently. Europe is not a model for anything remotely successful as far as public policy goes.
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

Strong unions certainly haven't led to a strong economy for....

The U.S. steel industry
The U.S. auto industry
U.S. public education
The U.S. post office
Amtrack
etc. etc. etc....

Take every promising, dynamic, growing industry in the U.S., and you will find little to no union presence.

Take every deteriorating, decayed, moribund industry in the U.S., and you will find big, fat unions.
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Unions have been directly responsible for the destruction of many industries in the USA. It isn't even debatable at this point. Unions lost their way a long time ago.

Are you serious? What industries? The auto industry? You mean, it wasn't the bean counters that decided a $0.10 part on a Ford Pinto was too expensive and led to deadly results? You mean it wasn't the poor engineering that went into those cars like the Pinto, Vega, Monza, and just about every other model? You mean it wasn't the inept management that didn't understand why people preferred Toyotas and Hondas? You mean it wasn't the designers who gave us forgettable designs? You mean it wasn't overpaid CEOs who were more worried about bonuses and shareholder value instead of product? You mean it wasn't the cheap interiors and bland exterior designs? You mean it wasn't a culture of crying about emissions regulations instead of innovating around those regulations? You mean it wasn't the fact that one company had 60% market share with only 2 other competitors? You mean it wasn't the fact that they simply designed and manufactured cars that rattled and squeaked and had purposely designed-in flaws, requiring you to spend money to fix them?

You mean to tell me it was the UAW that screwed up the US auto industry? I had no idea...
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2director View Post

Strong unions certainly haven't led to a strong economy for....

The U.S. steel industry
The U.S. auto industry
U.S. public education
The U.S. post office
Amtrack
etc. etc. etc....

Take every promising, dynamic, growing industry in the U.S., and you will find little to no union presence.

Take every deteriorating, decayed, moribund industry in the U.S., and you will find big, fat unions.

Funny that Germany is ripe with unions, and yet they're very successful. Besides, you're completely wrong.
post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Europe is basically falling apart right before our very eyes. Even the Chinese said they where suffering from sloth recently. Europe is not a model for anything remotely successful as far as public policy goes.

You must have been reading and watching too much Anglo/American media. For your information, European problems are less than USA problems. Europe is not about to fall apart and if the sky should fall you will be under it as will be all of us.
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.


buy american? no.
It is chinese made product.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Funny that Germany is ripe with unions, and yet they're very successful. Besides, you're completely wrong.

Germany is a pip-squeak of a country compared to the U.S., economically speaking.

How many new, booming industries have come out of Germany since WWII? Not many. How many from the U.S.? Oh let's see, there's been biotechnology, the mainframe and mini computer industry, the the personal computer industry, the internet, the air freight industry (fed ex, ups), fast food, music, movies, etc. etc. etc. If the U.S. had Germany's overall economic activity, it would be a disaster for us.

Also, Germany can better afford the massive economic drag that comes from high unionization because Germany barely spends a dime on its own defense. That's a historic aberration -- strong, independent nations have always had to spend vastly more money than Germany does on defense, but Germany has gotten away with spending nothing because the U.S. has footed that bill.

We've been their protector since WWII, but that's coming to an end, and I can't wait to see Germany (and the rest of Europe) go into violent seizures as they try to maintain their rich socialist welfare entitlements while also keeping credible militaries at the ready. This will be fun.
post #23 of 86
If Apple lets Unions in you can say goodbye to customer service. Walk up to a unionized Apple Genius... "I'm sorry sir, I'm not the one that handles the RAM issues, you'll have to see the motherboard specialist".

Not to mention the demand for higher wages, contract negotiations, etc. That will drive the cost of Apple products even higher.

I like Apple the way it is. No thanks.
post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Are you serious? What industries? The auto industry? You mean, it wasn't the bean counters that decided a $0.10 part on a Ford Pinto was too expensive and led to deadly results? You mean it wasn't the poor engineering that went into those cars like the Pinto, Vega, Monza, and just about every other model? You mean it wasn't the inept management that didn't understand why people preferred Toyotas and Hondas? You mean it wasn't the designers who gave us forgettable designs? You mean it wasn't overpaid CEOs who were more worried about bonuses and shareholder value instead of product? You mean it wasn't the cheap interiors and bland exterior designs? You mean it wasn't a culture of crying about emissions regulations instead of innovating around those regulations? You mean it wasn't the fact that one company had 60% market share with only 2 other competitors? You mean it wasn't the fact that they simply designed and manufactured cars that rattled and squeaked and had purposely designed-in flaws, requiring you to spend money to fix them?

You mean to tell me it was the UAW that screwed up the US auto industry? I had no idea...

I'll give that all the problems you mentioned were real, whether they were or not. Please tell or preferably show me how the UAW solved JUST ONE of the problems that you mentioned? You can't because the UAW didn't solve any of them.

You make unions merit and performanced based instead of all about longevity and seniority and I'll support unions.
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post #25 of 86
Years ago I read that the way Amazon dealt with unionizing order-fulfillment centers was to shut down the centers.

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post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

!!!!!!!
post #27 of 86
Not gonna touch this one with a 10ft pole. Go attack each other over your political biases. I'm going to play Angry Birds.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #28 of 86
United we stand divided we fall.

Time will tell.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

Quoted for Truth. The strongest economies, the best living standards, and the best-functioning democracies are found in countries with strong unions: the Nordic countries and Germany. This doesn't mean unions bring wealth and happiness to everyone, but it's no coincidence. Mostly it's about a balance of power, which is badly lopsided in corporate America.

The Chinese are saying Europe is suffering from "sloth"? Well, the Chinese of all people surely know how to do things the innovative and ethical way. LOL.

As for the unions moving American jobs to China, um, no. The American corporations moved the jobs to China. And once Chinese labor becomes too expensive, they'll move to the next place. Some are already doing it, opting for Vietnam, for example, instead of China. Big corporations are like a swarm of locusts. But they sure are happy to see so many simpletons are ready to lose it all just to defend them from those horrendous unions...
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2director View Post

Germany is a pip-squeak of a country compared to the U.S., economically speaking.

How many new, booming industries have come out of Germany since WWII? Not many. How many from the U.S.? Oh let's see, there's been biotechnology, the mainframe and mini computer industry, the the personal computer industry, the internet, the air freight industry (fed ex, ups), fast food, music, movies, etc. etc. etc. If the U.S. had Germany's overall economic activity, it would be a disaster for us.

Also, Germany can better afford the massive economic drag that comes from high unionization because Germany barely spends a dime on its own defense. That's a historic aberration -- strong, independent nations have always had to spend vastly more money than Germany does on defense, but Germany has gotten away with spending nothing because the U.S. has footed that bill.

We've been their protector since WWII, but that's coming to an end, and I can't wait to see Germany (and the rest of Europe) go into violent seizures as they try to maintain their rich socialist welfare entitlements while also keeping credible militaries at the ready. This will be fun.

Who do you think is going to attack Germany and Europe? Are you seriously proposing that Europe should spend in excess of one trillion dollars on defence? You are delusional.

Germany is the second largest exporting country in the world after China. Germany and Europe are no laggards in innovation, but maybe they dont brag about it so much.

Size is not the be-all or end-all of success. The wellbeing of the general population is and Scandinavia and North Western Europe scores a lot higher than the good old USA.
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Strong unions = strong economy. Notice how crappy our economy is? It's cus our unions are crappy. Workers spend money- not owners. Buy American. Support our neighbors and our own jobs.

Commenters that are too young to remember what NYC was like under the boot of the corrupt unions in the 70's are so cute.
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Not gonna touch this one with a 10ft pole. Go attack each other over your political biases. I'm going to play Angry Birds.

Good idea! I'm right behind you:-)
post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

You make unions merit and performanced based instead of all about longevity and seniority and I'll support unions.

AMEN!! I said goodbye to unions forever when I was 26, and lost a promotion I had worked my ever-loving ass off for to someone from a completely different department, simply because they were hired 3 DAYS BEFORE I WAS. He systematically ruined every streamlined procedure I'd set in place that had things running perfectly, and managed to single-handedly piss off our four top customers badly enough to push them over to our competition, all in a single meeting. To top it all off, the department head had the stones to bitch ME out, because I didn't do a good enough job training my boss. Bosses train employees, not the other way around. I told him, and my "boss," that if they wanted me to do that job, they should have given it to me in the first place. Quit that POS, took out a loan, and went back to college so I could be my own damn boss and never have to place my livelihood into the hands of morons like that ever again.

Anyone that actually has some morals and a healthy work ethic knows exactly what we are talking about here. Unions are the havens of slackers and masters of least effort required as a way of life individuals. They are also run by seriously corrupt bastards, as has been made clear by recent scandals in Chicago and NYC. As far as Apple retail stores go, the ONLY reason unions want a piece of that pie is because it would bring in millions of dollars in dues, and give them power and influence over one of the most profitable companies in the country. If you think this has anything to do with improving the lot of Apple employees, go look at the Apple employment page, and see just how much better even the lowest part time retail store employee has it in terms of pay and benefits compared to their counterparts at Best Buy, Fry's etc. Any Apple employee that has the nerve to bitch about their situation in this economy needs to be fired on the spot, and escorted out the door by security guards in black turtlenecks, so someone who actually wants and would appreciate that job can have it.
post #34 of 86
Weekends
All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
Paid Vacation
FMLA
Sick Leave
Social Security
Minimum Wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
8-Hour Work Day
Overtime Pay
Child Labor Laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40 Hour Work Week
Worker's Compensation (Worker's Comp)
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
Employer Health Care Insurance
Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
Wrongful Termination Laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
Sexual Harassment Laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday Pay
Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
Privacy Rights
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Military Leave
The Right to Strike
Public Education for Children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

Those evil unions! Look at all those horrible things they have fought for!
post #35 of 86
Unions allow employees to bargain collectively over wages and working conditions. Unions have been positive in establishing the 40 hour work weeks, a safe work place, a living wage, and health and retirement benefits. Both union and non-union workers have benefited from unions. My UPS driver is a union member, the pilots that fly our planes are union members, firefighters, police, and even symphony orchestra members belong to unions. Unions aren't inherently evil, and I didn't see them involved in the S&L scandal or the credit default swap crash. I would hope that Apple recognizes that union members are consumers, too.
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charel View Post

Who do you think is going to attack Germany and Europe? Are you seriously proposing that Europe should spend in excess of one trillion dollars on defence? You are delusional.

Germany is the second largest exporting country in the world after China. Germany and Europe are no laggards in innovation, but maybe they dont brag about it so much.

Size is not the be-all or end-all of success. The wellbeing of the general population is and Scandinavia and North Western Europe scores a lot higher than the good old USA.

Never mind the fact that neither Germany nor Japan can have a standing Army put a cog in the original poster's comments about Germany spending on military defens(c)e.
post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvance View Post

If unions come to Apple you can kiss the retail business goodbye. I for one will never enter another Apple store. I will mail order my Apple products. No union has EVER made a company more productive, competitive or innovative.


People aren't slaves, in civilised countries they have every right to organise and select who they want to represent them.
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post #38 of 86
Do you like having a weekend? Do you like having a job that gives you healthcare and other benefits? If so, thank the unions.

If you don't have those benefits, you should probably organize and get a union.
post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Europe is basically falling apart right before our very eyes. Even the Chinese said they where suffering from sloth recently. Europe is not a model for anything remotely successful as far as public policy goes.

Thanks for giving us the Fox News interpretation of what's happening in Europe. It's always nice to know what the ignorant and sanctimonious are thinking.

Here's what's really happening. The Europeans are facing two significant short-run problems. First, they are trapped by the Euro. Second, they are suffering from the delusion of "expansionary austerity". Neither of these has anything to do with "sloth". And ironically, the second is a delusion shared by right-wing Republican tea-party types.

Regarding the Euro: a common currency without labor market mobility and a common fiscal policy had lead to disaster, as predicted by Americans and Brits back in the 90s.

Regarding the delusion of expansionary austerity: European policymakers have fallen victim to the delusion that raising taxes and cutting spending will create jobs by somehow instilling "confidence" in business that the government is Serious about cutting deficits. There's no basis in theory or evidence that this works in the context of a depressed economy, but they're doing it anyway, and destroying their economy in the process.

Outside of these two massive policy failures, though, there are a lot of things that some European countries do very well with respect to policy. France has the safest and most advanced nuclear power program on the planet. The Germans (and others) have some of the best policies to facilitate a move away from fossil fuels. The Germans have an excellent system for educating highly skilled technical workers. The French have one of the best health care systems in the world.

Of course, I don't know why I'm wasting my breath. The stunning ignorance and small-minded moralizing displayed in your post indicates that you are totally incapable of comprehending anything that I've written here.
post #40 of 86
I think Steve would literally climb out of his grave, tell everyone they were shit, fire them all, including the top brass and the board, cry like a baby, change the name to Zombie Computer, and run the entire thing himself, possibly keeping Jony Ive around for new designs.
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