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

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  • Reply 41 of 179
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,969member
    I am really surprised at the extent of anti-union sentiment on this board. I would have guessed maybe 50/50, but only one or two have anything positive to say, and even that is qualified.



    Working for someone else is an agreement: I will provide a service for you in exchange for money. That agreement is ongoing. When one side or the other feels that the bargain is being violated in some way, fairness dictates the two should sit down, discuss, and reach a solution that is fair to both sides.



    Your boss or supervisor doesn't come to the table as an individual like you, but with all the resources the company can muster: lawyers, researchers, consultants, etc. Most Americans believe in justice and fair play. They feel that a level playing field is a good thing. Businesses above the "small business" level have resources to enforce their position on a disagreement far beyond what an average employee can muster. The only way a fair resolution can be achieved is if you have access to equal backing. One guy against a corporation is a stacked deck, loaded dice, a blowout. When employees organize to form a unit, it goes a long way to making sure that both sides get heard.



    I bet some of those who said that labor laws now make unions moot would also state in another forum that the less government regulation the better. Unions are not government. They are private, just like companies. Unions are a private sector solution.



    Unions are no better or worse than corporations, their are good ones and bad ones, an lot somewhere between. Unfortunately, the ones you hear about are the usually the bad ones.



    As far as the sentiment, "if you're not happy then leave" goes, imagine if that was extended to another bargain--that between a citizen and his government. "If you don't like a law, or a ticket, or a policy, then go to another country." That wouldn't be fair. We have mechanisms in our system to address grievances: elected representatives, the courts, etc. We don't say if you don't like it, lump it. Why should our working lives not play by the same rules? If someone paid a contractor to build you a house addition and he didn't finish it, or used cheap substitute materials, should the contractor be permitted to say: "If you don't like my work, go somewhere else? If you say, "no, you can go to court," then I say yes, unions make it possible for workers with few resources to go to court.



    We are a government of checks and balances. Unions and corporations check and balance each other. The first amendment to the Constitution give you the right to organize for redress of grievances. To deny citizens the right to organize themselves in the workplace is un-American in the most fundamental way.



    Sorry, but in fairness I had to speak out. There should be some balance in this discussion.
  • Reply 42 of 179
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,969member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    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.



    There should be more bosses like you. But many are not. If I was president of the union representing your workers, I would make sure that there was just cause, and if there was, it would be too bad for the employee.



    I was an officer of a teachers union and I can assure you that this happened more than once: bad teachers were given every chance to improve, and if not, were shown the door.



    This is the way unions should work, and often do. You just don't hear about it because it doesn't sell news.
  • Reply 43 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    As far as the sentiment, "if you're not happy then leave" goes, imagine if that was extended to another bargain--that between a citizen and his government. "If you don't like a law, or a ticket, or a policy, then go to another country." That wouldn't be fair. We have mechanisms in our system to address grievances: elected representatives, the courts, etc. We don't say if you don't like it, lump it. Why should our working lives not play by the same rules? If someone paid a contractor to build you a house addition and he didn't finish it, or used cheap substitute materials, should the contractor be permitted to say: "If you don't like my work, go somewhere else? If you say, "no, you can go to court," then I say yes, unions make it possible for workers with few resources to go to court.



    See, I agree with your points of view right up until this part. You're mixing in various elements and variables that don't jive with the mentioned sentiment. You say "why should our working lives not play by the same rules?" Well, they do! That's why we have labor laws, minimum wages, the Department of Labor, health care reform (for better or worse)... all of these things, coupled with a free market and incentivised competition make it absolutely possible for someone to simply work for a competing company if they do not like their current position. We also have trade schools and colleges to train for and obtain more education and skills to make ourselves more valuable and open up more opportunities.



    I'm not saying everything is perfect or that no one has been a victim of an abusive employer, but its a far stretch to say that *only* a union has the ability to provide checks and balances to corporations. That's just nonsense.
  • Reply 44 of 179
    ezduzitezduzit Posts: 158member
    first thing that apple should do is to stop expanding hq's in california. go to a right tp work state like north carolina (cloud world) or risk becoming another law suit like boeing.



    this initial union foray, so far, is just a chance for people to make noise. a start as an apple employee is a great first step to start learning how to be responsible, especially if this is your first or second job.
  • Reply 45 of 179
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.



    If you are going to chime in with the rest and just say you hate unions then say it. Don't make junk up to "prove" your case.



    The idea that unions "destroyed" anything or "ruined the economy" is a complete fantasy based on zero actual facts.



    If unions are so bad and we need to outsource all labour to slave economies like China, then why is Foxconn a union shop?
  • Reply 46 of 179
    sinicalsinical Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    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.



    when you find one that is the exception, not the rule, let me know.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post


    There's also no law that says they can't form a union if they choose to.



    There's also nothing saying Apple can't hire people to replace them when they choose to go on strike.
  • Reply 47 of 179
    deansoleckideansolecki Posts: 256member
    Yeah, kill the unions. Honestly I don't know why we have them at all. Corporations will provide people with the minimum possible compensation that they can find people to work for and in an economy like this that is pretty much nothing. You don't like it? Find another job! I mean, there probably isn't another one and unemployment is a great indication of that, but why are we concerning ourselves with the lower and middle classes? I went to college. If you didn't you deserve death! I want to see anyone who isn't part of the privileged class beaten publicly for asking for anything, ever!



    Obviously the only way anyone ever works retail is if they are lazy and undeserving of respect or a decent standard of living. I'm sick of all the minorities and immigrants asking for equality and regulations. If you want equality move to Canada! This is America, where children are horribly maimed by machinery because free markets dictate it's cheaper to replace dead or disfigured children with new ones rather than take minimal precautions to ensure their safety. Or at least, it used to be, until oversight was put in place to prevent such things. (Thanks unions, you screwed it up for everyone!)



    But that was before corporations learned to love and care. Things are different now. Corruption no longer exists and everything is fair and wonderful because the evil unions (who's only interest is greed and doing evil, while corporations are just trying to help everyone and spread love to all) have been mostly beaten back by huge marketing efforts to teach people the truth about them. The growing wealth and social disparities (as well as economic collapse) could all be attributed in part to the failure of the few remaining stalwarts against corporate interests, but again, if you went to college why would you care? Human dignity doesn't help my bottom line or yours, so I don't see why it is needed. Our friends at Wal-mart have done the most for this holy cause and it appears that a lot of you are in the know already.



    I'm glad Apple fanboys have become so in tune with corporate efficiencies. I just wish people would stop talking about decency. Like unions, it's a thing of the past.
  • Reply 48 of 179
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post


    Wow, the kneejerk, ignorant responses in this thread are astounding.



    Apparently everyone else commenting here lives in a country where companies do no wrong, where workers are never, ever subject to the whims of bosses who may not have much regard for safety or well-being, and where a single employee has the power and leverage to hold management accountable all by himself!



    I'm not saying that Apple Stores are ripe for unionization - I worked at one for awhile and my managers were just fine, the working conditions were good, and I generally had no complaints.



    But unions aren't just about those things. They're ultimately about making sure that workers are on a somewhat level playing field with management and ownership. They ensure that what workers lack in wealth is made up by their sheer numbers. Otherwise, they become completely exploitable and expendable. Not all companies would do those things, but it's best for everyone if the possibility is as remote as possible.



    Yes, unions can sometimes be corrupt or overreach. Just like government. Just like corporations. But no one talks about abolishing them. No, the only institution people want to abolish is the one that dare represent people who otherwise lack in money and power. How completely upside-down is that?



    I think there are plenty of arguments to be made for reform of unions and greater transparency in their dealings. But to attack the very concept, to say that workers shouldn't be allowed to unite and fight for their common interests strikes me as cold, heartless and, yes, un-American.



    And, by the way, unions help the economy by making sure that wages in middle class jobs are fair and reasonable. I don't think this would make much difference in a retail setting, but it makes a huge difference in others. Look at construction: In states with low unionization, construction jobs basically pay minimum wage. This is a job that is inherently dangerous and taxing on the body (and in many parts of the U.S., only provides work for 9 months of the year), but in states that afford workers little power, those on top have managed to suppress wage growth. That's not necessarily wrong by itself, but with no force to counter it, it becomes economic injustice.



    Wealth disparity on the U.S. is on the rise, yet so many think it's fine that literally the only institution that advocates on behalf of the economic interests of working class and middle class people should just go away. It's very sad.



    I'm sorry but this is a HOT load. Unions have taken advantage of the goodwill of the american people and have hurt more than helped individuals recently in their continuing so called quest for fair treatment in the work place. I have to have a union guy come in just to move my lap top from one desk to another and it has to be scheduled even though I could've just as easily done it myself. Just because Unions were useful at one point in time doesn't mean they will continue to be useful in perpetuity.
  • Reply 49 of 179
    deansoleckideansolecki Posts: 256member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    I'm sorry but this is a HOT load. Unions have taken advantage of the goodwill of the american people and have hurt more than helped individuals recently in their continuing so called quest for fair treatment in the work place. I have to have a union guy come in just to move my lap top from one desk to another and it has to be scheduled even though I could've just as easily done it myself. Just because Unions were useful at one point in time doesn't mean they will continue to be useful in perpetuity.



    I agree with Addy! Your anecdotal evidence must, by necessity, hold true for all instances across all professions, in all ways.



    Unions exist for the sole purpose of ruining America! (It's the only thing that makes sense.)
  • Reply 50 of 179
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    As a futile attempt to balance the swarm of self aggrandizing, historically ignorant and delusional folks commenting on this article with such brilliance as "You don't have to work there loser", I say to the Apple unionizers "Go For It"!!

    (And I say this as a holder of AAPL.)



    To those who say unions are an anachronism, no longer needed because corporations have now seen the light and want to do everything to treat their employees fairly, I have to ask "What drugs are you on?"



    The creation of the middle class in this country was made possible by unions (along with controls of hideous working conditions, child labor, and every benefit you enjoy that you somehow think you earned by your own brilliance and indispensability), and the destruction of the middle class has precisely paralleled the slaughter of the unions since Reagan.



    What delusion leads you to think that you as an individual have ANY negotiating power against corporations with power once reserved for governments?



    I could go in a long speech about the need for unions and the sad loss that has been their demise at the hands of corporate run government, but it will fall on deaf ears, because you all think you're John Galt.



    So sad.
  • Reply 51 of 179
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


    Yeah, kill the unions. Honestly I don't know why we have them at all. Corporations will provide people with the minimum possible compensation that they can find people to work for and in an economy like this that is pretty much nothing. You don't like it? Find another job! I mean, there probably isn't another one and unemployment is a great indication of that, but why are we concerning ourselves with the lower and middle classes? I went to college. If you didn't you deserve death! I want to see anyone who isn't part of the privileged class beaten publicly for asking for anything, ever!



    Obviously the only way anyone ever works retail is if they are lazy and undeserving of respect or a decent standard of living. I'm sick of all the minorities and immigrants asking for equality and regulations. If you want equality move to Canada! This is America, where children are horribly maimed by machinery because free markets dictate it's cheaper to replace dead or disfigured children with new ones rather than take minimal precautions to ensure their safety. Or at least, it used to be, until oversight was put in place to prevent such things. (Thanks unions, you screwed it up for everyone!)



    But that was before corporations learned to love and care. Things are different now. Corruption no longer exists and everything is fair and wonderful because the evil unions (who's only interest is greed and doing evil, while corporations are just trying to help everyone and spread love to all) have been mostly beaten back by huge marketing efforts to teach people the truth about them. The growing wealth and social disparities (as well as economic collapse) could all be attributed in part to the failure of the few remaining stalwarts against corporate interests, but again, if you went to college why would you care? Human dignity doesn't help my bottom line or yours, so I don't see why it is needed. Our friends at Wal-mart have done the most for this holy cause and it appears that a lot of you are in the know already.



    I'm glad Apple fanboys have become so in tune with corporate efficiencies. I just wish people would stop talking about decency. Like unions, it's a thing of the past.



    Well said, but this crowd won't understand your sarcasm.
  • Reply 52 of 179
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    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 ......



    If one decided to ignore the opinion of the Rush Limbaugh types that seem to permeate the airwaves these days and decided to do some research on the Auto industry and actually make up one's mind

    based on fact ..... your opinion, entitled as you are to it, could not be farther from the truth, IMHO.



    The simple truth about the auto industry is that, starting in the late 60s and early 70s .... the industry was lazy and complacent. The "Big 3" thought they could do no wrong ... and for almost two decades .... refused to accept the fact that the American consumer wanted safe, reliable and low maintenance ( read: better fuel milage) cars, as was shown by the shrinking market share of the Big 3.



    Even when it became so obvious they couldn't ignore the problem anymore ... their answer was to create a climate of 0% financing ....and cash back .... and a slew of misguided sales gimmicks instead of focusing on the real problem ..... the fact that they were selling, or trying to ..... overpriced junk. In other words ... keep making junk, but try to 'bribe/dupe' the consumer into 'going along with this "plan'.



    Not one of these business models was introduced by the unions .... but guess whose jobs were the first to go? .... not management .... they kept their jobs, for the most part, and even when some might have been replaced .... they got the "golden handshake" while the workers got the 'not so golden finger'.



    Unions are just as necessary today as they have always been ..... to provide a balance of power. Any group can have bad policies created ..... unions or management .... that's why you need both .... a strong management team .... and a strong union .... to keep each other "on their toes" and to bring out the best in each other.



    Remember this: Power corrupts .... and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That applies to both sides of the equation, equally. .... Cheers.
  • Reply 53 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    What delusion leads you to think that you as an individual have ANY negotiating power against corporations with power once reserved for governments?



    Um... start my own company and work for myself, maybe? Perhaps build myself a server case out of used LEGO pieces and name myself 'Google,' or build a reasonably-priced computer hand-carved out of wood in a garage somewhere and call myself 'Apple.'



    So long as individuals are free to work for any company that will hire them, and so long as the opportunity to start your own company is there, corporations aren't the end-all, alpha-and-omega supergiants that control our lives as their minions or slaves. You don't need to be dramatic to drive home your point.



    EDIT: I guess my point is if you submit that the only way to be successful or to earn a living in life is at the behest of a corporation that treats you poorly, then I guess you can develop the illusion that somehow 'unionizing' will make that limited existence more bearable. But again, unions were formed at a time when submitting yourself actually was the only way to earn a living. That's just simply not the case, these days. Not in this country, anyway.
  • Reply 54 of 179
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    The alternative to unionising is professionalising ....



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



    Ahhh ... you mean like lawyers? .... or judges? .... or bankers? ..... or stockbrokers ???? If you say so.
  • Reply 55 of 179
    deansoleckideansolecki Posts: 256member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    Um... start my own company and work for myself, maybe? Perhaps build myself a server case out of used LEGO pieces and name myself 'Google,' or build a reasonably-priced computer hand-carved out of wood in a garage somewhere and call myself 'Apple.'



    So long as individuals are free to work for any company that will hire them, and so long as the opportunity to start your own company is there, corporations aren't the end-all, alpha-and-omega supergiants that control our lives as their minions or slaves. You don't need to be dramatic to drive home your point.



    Yeah. I mean, a new Google comes along every ten minutes. As soon as I'm done writing this post I'm gonna start my own Google... shoot, I might as well start two Googles, I mean, this is America!



    ...I just need to read a patent or two and see if anything hasn't been "invented" yet.
  • Reply 56 of 179
    k2directork2director Posts: 194member
    Look at almost every American industry or service where the costs are running away from all attempts to control, and the quality of the product or service is declining, and you will find a BIG FAT UNION.



    U.S. Post Office

    U.S. Auto Industry

    U,S, Health Care

    U.S. public school system

    Other U.S. public service sectors such as police, prison guards, clerical buffoons, etc. etc.

    Etc. etc. etc.



    Unions are blood-sucking ticks that breed complacency, corruption, and in the public sector, are threats to democracy by creating an ever-bloated government that demands more and more control over private citizens' lives and pocket-books in order to prop itself up.



    And what a joke that the most pro-union Apple Store is in Washington state!! Washington is also home to Boeing, a great American industrial company (fewer and fewer of them exist) that has had to suffer through crippling strikes about once every 3 years from its Washington state workforce.



    Recently, Boeing decided to move some of its Dreamliner manufacturing operations to South Carolina, where there is no union to constantly interfere with manufacturing operations. Low and behold, the Obama administration is now attempting to block that move, saying it's a retaliation against the ever-striking unions. So not only are unions able to strike at will (which is fair...they have the right to work or not), but now they've gotten enough lackeys like Obama in high-office to prevent free companies from taking their business to another U.S. state! In other words, Boeing is literally being held down by the White House and ordered to manufacture planes in places where the union has control (which is unfair. If a union can walk away, so can the company's owners and their management).



    The day I see a union in an Apple Store will be the day I never go into that store again.
  • Reply 57 of 179
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    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.



    Congratulations on being a fair minded employer .... but are you sure that all other employers are as fair as you? .... because unless you are .... we likely still need unions.
  • Reply 58 of 179
    deansoleckideansolecki Posts: 256member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Look at almost every American industry or service where the costs are running away from all attempts to control, and the quality of the product or service is declining, and you will find a BIG FAT UNION.



    U.S. Post Office

    U.S. Auto Industry

    U,S, Health Care

    U.S. public school system

    Other U.S. public service sectors such as police, prison guards, clerical buffoons, etc. etc.

    Etc. etc. etc.



    Unions are blood-sucking ticks that breed complacency, corruption, and in the public sector, are threats to democracy by creating an ever-bloated government that demands more and more control over private citizens' lives and pocket-books to prop it up.



    And what a joke that the most pro-union Apple Store is in Washington state!! Washington is also home to Boeing, a great American industrial company (fewer and fewer of them exist) that has had to suffer through crippling strikes about once every 3 years from its Washington state workforce.



    Recently, Boeing decided to move some of its Dreamliner manufacturing operations to South Carolina, where there is no union to constantly interfere with manufacturing operations. Low and behold, the Obama administration is now attempting to block that move, saying it's a retaliation against the ever-striking unions. So not only are unions able to strike at will (which is fair...they have the right to work or not), but now they've gotten enough lackeys like Obama in high-office to prevent free companies from taking their business elsewhere (which is not fair). In other words, Boeing is literally being held down by the White House and ordered to manufacture planes in places where the union has control.



    The day I see a union in an Apple Store will be the day I never go into that store again.



    I agree. The United States is just one big Union that needs to be stopped. I wanna see State of the Corporation addresses. I want to live in the United States of Enron, where everything is always happy and nice! I bet if the banks ran the country there would never be problems. Those guys know what they're doing!
  • Reply 59 of 179
    k2directork2director Posts: 194member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


    I agree. The United States is just one big Union that needs to be stopped. I wanna see State of the Corporation addresses. I want to live in the United States of Enron, where everything is always happy and nice! I bet if the banks ran the country there would never be problems. Those guys know what they're doing!



    Let me know when you've got something intelligent to say....
  • Reply 60 of 179
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


    I agree. The United States is just one big Union that needs to be stopped. I wanna see State of the Corporation addresses. I want to live in the United States of Enron, where everything is always happy and nice! I bet if the banks ran the country there would never be problems. Those guys know what they're doing!



    I hear they are "too big to fail."
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