As Apple stores celebrate 10 years, some employees look to unionize

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A group calling itself the "Apple Retail Workers Union" is attempting to drum up support for its cause as Apple's retail business celebrates its first 10 years.



The group contacted members of the press on Thursday, which is 10 years to the day since Apple opened its first stores on May 19, 2001 in McLean, Virginia, and Glendale, Calif. The Apple Retail Workers Union alleges that Apple's stores are "demanding" environments and that some employees have been subjected to "unfair treatment and compensation.



"We deserve better," the letter reads. "Our time has come."



As first reported by Macworld, an anonymous person representing the organization said that "some stores in the Pacific Northwest may be talking amongst themselves" about forming a union. They claimed the Alderwood Mall store in Lynnwood, Wash., is "the closest anyone has come to collective action."



As for supposed "unfair treatment" at Apple's retail stores, the person reportedly said that wages, break schedules, training opportunities, and selection and hiring processes for internal candidates were primary complaints.



"It's unclear how serious or large an effort the Apple Retail Workers Union is at this time," author Lex Friedman wrote, noting that the official Twitter page has just two tweets, one of them from January, while the Facebook page has a few posts from February and has been "liked" once.







Apple's retail outlets have become an important part of the company's overall business, and every quarter the company reports that about half of Macs sold in stores are to new customers who never owned a Mac before. During its last quarterly earnings conference call, the company revealed that Apple's retail stores were soon to host their 1 billionth visitor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 179
    dziggyiidziggyii Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A group calling itself the "Apple Retail Workers Union" is attempting to drum up support for its cause as Apple's retail business celebrates its first 10 years.



    The group contacted members of the press on Thursday, which is 10 years to the day since Apple opened its first stores on May 19, 2001 in McLean, Virginia, and Glendale, Calif. The Apple Retail Workers Union alleges that Apple's stores are "demanding" environments and that some employees have been subjected to "unfair treatment and compensation.



    "We deserve better," the letter reads. "Our time has come."



    As first reported by Macworld, an anonymous person representing the organization said that "some stores in the Pacific Northwest may be talking amongst themselves" about forming a union. They claimed the Alderwood Mall store in Lynnwood, Wash., is "the closest anyone has come to collective action."



    As for supposed "unfair treatment" at Apple's retail stores, the person reportedly said that wages, break schedules, training opportunities, and selection and hiring processes for internal candidates were primary complaints.



    "It's unclear how serious or large an effort the Apple Retail Workers Union is at this time," author Lex Friedman wrote, noting that the official Twitter page has just two tweets, one of them from January, while the Facebook page has a few posts from February and has been "liked" once.







    Apple's retail outlets have become an important part of the company's overall business, and every quarter the company reports that about half of Macs sold in stores are to new customers who never owned a Mac before. During its last quarterly earnings conference call, the company revealed that Apple's retail stores were soon to host their 1 billionth visitor.



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no law saying you have to work there. Just quit if you don't like the working conditions!!
  • Reply 2 of 179
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    Steve Jobs should immediately fire any and all people who seek to unionize. If an employee is unhappy for whatever reason, then they are free to quit. Nobody forced them to take the job.



    Unions are disgusting and they should be abolished and made illegal.
  • Reply 3 of 179
    edemerzeledemerzel Posts: 17member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dziggyii View Post


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no law saying you have to work there. Just quit if you don't like the working conditions!!



    This ^^^



    If you don't like where you work - QUIT! No one is forcing you to be there! This is the current problem in the US. People feel entitled to more for nothing.



    There was a place for unions in the past, but that time has come and gone.
  • Reply 4 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Steve Jobs should immediately fire any and all people who seek to unionize. If an employee is unhappy for whatever reason, then they are free to quit. Nobody forced them to take the job.



    Unions are disgusting and they should be abolished and made illegal.



    Firing workers who seek to get better working conditions or to unionize is exactly why unions exist in the first place . Read up on your history.



    However, unions were created in a time when labor laws and good working conditions were almost non-existent. Its an outdated concept that doesn't have much application in today's world. As a teen, I worked for the supermarket 'union,' and all it ever did for me was take $3 out of my weekly paycheck and give me a slight discount to Disneyland... as far as my meager wages, lack of full-time hours and benefits, they didn't help much there. Found it much easier to move on and find another job to replace the one I'm not happy about =).



    Of course, with only one Facebook "like" on their page, I don't think this is anything Apple has to worry about.
  • Reply 5 of 179
    imoanimoan Posts: 56member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Steve Jobs should immediately fire any and all people who seek to unionize. If an employee is unhappy for whatever reason, then they are free to quit. Nobody forced them to take the job.



    Unions are disgusting and they should be abolished and made illegal.



    Oh boy, this is going to be such a great thread. Educational and informative and full of talk about Apple products.



    I am soooo glad I am in a union so I am protected from people like you sir.



    I hope you never have to go home and tell your family you lost your job because some jerk (like you) came to work in a bad mood.



    First and last post on this ignorant thread.
  • Reply 6 of 179
    I agree. If you dont like the terms of a job, leave. Unions are an anchor round the legs of the economy continually holding it back
  • Reply 7 of 179
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dziggyii View Post


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no law saying you have to work there. Just quit if you don't like the working conditions!!



    /signed



    We do not need Unions to drag down Apple like they did to the American auto industry and California's budget.
  • Reply 8 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluedalmatian View Post


    I agree. If you dont like the terms of a job, leave. Unions are an anchor round the legs of the economy continually holding it back



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    /signed



    We do not need Unions to drag down Apple like they did to the American auto industry and California's budget.



    To be fair, there *are* decent, legitimate unions out there that do a lot of good for their members, even to this day. However, they seem to be more of the exception these days than the rule. Speaking simply on practicality, unionizing Apple store employees doesn't make sense for Apple or its retail workers.
  • Reply 9 of 179
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    The alternative to unionising is professionalising.



    Unions are all about doing less with more.

    Like all organisations, they always feel a need to be doing something, regardless of the immediate need, so they are always looking for a fight.



    Professions are about raising the quality of members and thus being recognised as being worth more.

    They create an atmosphere and the habit of continuous improvement among the members.



    It works well in the industries I worked in and, unlike being a union member, your employer and the general public respect you.
  • Reply 10 of 179
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Steve Jobs should immediately fire any and all people who seek to unionize. If an employee is unhappy for whatever reason, then they are free to quit. Nobody forced them to take the job.



    Unions are disgusting and they should be abolished and made illegal.





    aGREED 100% FIRE THOSE BASTARDS and take away the FREE IPHONES and IPADS they got when these things came out and EVERY APPLE WORKER got one for FREE...



    WTF???? I would LOVE TO WORK AT THE APPLE STORE ... friggin MORONS!!



    I bet my yearly salary (although it wouldn't be much since i'm not working) that these are Micro$H!t ex-employees and self HATING ex-MS windoze users who lost their jobs and now are at the APPLE store .. go work at walmart
  • Reply 11 of 179
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 528member
    Don your flame-retardent clothing everyone, it's time for Americans talking about Unions. This can only end poorly.
  • Reply 12 of 179
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    Read up on your history.



    My knowledge of history is vast. Unions may have had a place and a use in the past, but that time is long gone. Unions do more bad than good now, and there is no need for them. Unions are bad for business, bad for the economy and I will go as far as to say that the philosophy of Unions is anti-American. I can see Unions appealing to socialists, underachievers, slackers and other degenerates in society who are looking for a free ride and looking to game the system at the expense of others.
  • Reply 13 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    My knowledge of history is vast. Unions may have had a place and a use in the past, but that time is long gone. Unions do more bad than good now, and there is no need for them. Unions are bad for business, bad for the economy and I will go as far as to say that the philosophy of Unions is anti-American. I can see Unions appealing to socialists, underachievers, slackers and other degenerates in society who are looking for a free ride and looking to game the system at the expense of others.



    I think plenty of police officers, firefighters and other service men and women would politely disagree with you . As I said, its more the exception than the rule, but there are decent, legitimate unions out there that work hard to protect its members. Don't count them all out.
  • Reply 14 of 179
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post




    ---



    I can see Unions appealing to socialists, underachievers, slackers and other degenerates in society who are looking for a free ride and looking to game the system at the expense of others.



    Well, there's no need to bring the public sector into it !



    ( Caring / life-saving professionals excepted, of course )
  • Reply 15 of 179
    kozchriskozchris Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    My knowledge of history is vast. Unions may have had a place and a use in the past, but that time is long gone. Unions do more bad than good now, and there is no need for them. Unions are bad for business, bad for the economy and I will go as far as to say that the philosophy of Unions is anti-American. I can see Unions appealing to socialists, underachievers, slackers and other degenerates in society who are looking for a free ride and looking to game the system at the expense of others.



    +1. Everything i have seen of modern unions makes me disgusted.
  • Reply 16 of 179
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    As a teacher, I couldn't agree more. Unions help unions, not workers. I can't think of a time a union actually helped a teacher keep his job in a way that they still wanted to work there afterwards. Unions just delay the inevitable and fuel the entire process with money. In this case, it would be coming out of Apple's deep pockets, in my case, it's the tax payer's dollars.



    When I taught at a private school, they rewarded teachers for success. Now that I'm in a different state, teaching public school, there is no reward system, and no punishment system. A good teacher that spends countless hours after school tutoring kids with no extra stipend gets the same salary as a teacher that just checks in for their scheduled time.



    We had a meeting to suggest that teachers take 20 minutes out of their prep to observe other teachers (for self learning - get ideas - see how a math class runs if you are an English teacher, etc.). We have block schedule, so 20 minutes is not even a 3rd of our time. Some of us were fine with it, but the 'old boys network' started quoting their union contract. It was incredible. "If we give them 20 minutes, they'll start asking for 40 minutes, then they start asking for an entire prep".



    On the other hand, my father drives a truck and is near retirement. The union will take care of him for a long time after he retires. It also insures that he doesn't get fire if he is capable of doing his job, but the employer wants to trade in for a newer version.



    Unions are not necessary for Apple. If you don't realize you are going to work your ass off for a company like that, you don't deserve to work there.
  • Reply 17 of 179
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    In order for a union to have any usefulness, the members need to have very specific skills that if withheld, would impact the effectiveness or profitability of the employer. Examples would be airline pilots, nurses, police, professional athletes. In the Apple retail workers case if the they went on strike they would just be replaced since they have no specific skill other than a little computer/software knowledge which is basically a dime a dozen.
  • Reply 18 of 179
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMoan View Post




    I hope you never have to go home and tell your family you lost your job because some jerk (like you) came to work in a bad mood.



    I'm not a big boss or a CEO, but I can assure you that the people who have been fired because of me can be counted on one hand. And they didn't get the boot because I was in a bad mood. They deserved to be fired, because their performance was continuously subpar.
  • Reply 19 of 179
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 452member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Steve Jobs should immediately fire any and all people who seek to unionize. If an employee is unhappy for whatever reason, then they are free to quit. Nobody forced them to take the job.



    Unions are disgusting and they should be abolished and made illegal.



    While I agree 100%, I'm not sure that's legal...
  • Reply 20 of 179
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    If you work or have worked for Apple Retail, speak up. If not, stfu.

    I worked Apple retail and I hope their employees unionize.

    Have you ever seen how full those stores get? Do you know what contradictory BS we go through to keep our jobs? Do you know how little they are paid and how many hours they get?

    Apple Retail is like high school: it's full of cliques. If you don't constantly improve your metrics, you get warnings. If you spend more than the allotted time with a client, you get warnings. If you don't sell MobileMe and Applecare, you get warnings. All that for typical retail wages with no commission or bonuses and almost zero opportunity to advance: Apple's policy is never to promote from within.



    Turnover in Apple Retail employees is enough to show that there's a serious problem. And as for the facebook page and Twitter account, any Apple employee caught saying anything about the company online is fired without warning.
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