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

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  • Reply 101 of 179
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    Nope. In 2008, Toyota saw its sales drop ~34% and Honda by ~32%. Except the American auto industry was affected far more due to higher wages compared to their Japanese counterparts.



    Ask yourself what else happened in 2008 that might have made car buying and especially American corporations tank. I'll bet car buying dropped in 1929-30 too.
  • Reply 102 of 179
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    People are not slaves, they have every right to form or join a union if they so desire.
  • Reply 103 of 179
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Ask yourself what else happened in 2008 that might have made car buying and especially American corporations tank. I'll bet car buying dropped in 1929-30 too.



    Irrelevant. The issue is why American automakers were affected more than their Japanese counterparts in the United States.
  • Reply 104 of 179
    davesmalldavesmall Posts: 118member
    Labor unions are about on par with the mafia and the government of Iran. They perform no useful function other than to enrich the drones who control them. They should be outlawed worldwide.



    Just look at the sorry situation in professional sports. The NBA, the NFL, etc. Sick, very sick, all because of greedy sports agents and labor unions.



    Like any other large corporation, Apple is bound to hire a small percentage of loser employees who will whine and complain. Apple should show them the door.
  • Reply 105 of 179
    gcom006gcom006 Posts: 73member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post


    Do you have any facts to back up this supposition?



    And if true, it would be one of the few things Mr. Jobs and I would be in major disagreement about.



    I'm surprised you wouldn't believe it just based around his persona in general and all the stories of him firing people on elevator rides, but here are some very pointed comments made about teachers unions as well as him drawing analogies to correlations in the business world.



    http://www.pcworld.com/article/12921...rs_unions.html



    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/4560691.html
  • Reply 106 of 179
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Just for the record, some people who work for Apple in Silicon Valley are represented by unions.



    I don't know this for certain, but I strongly suspect that Pixar was/is mostly unionized.
  • Reply 107 of 179
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    Irrelevant. The issue is why American automakers were affected more than their Japanese counterparts in the United States.



    Not irrelevant at all. The U.S. had a total collapse of its economy, the Japanese did not. Do you really think that Japanese workers would be more effected by that than American auto workers? Not only did American auto buyers go into a non-purchasing mode, but the American auto industry took a hit from losses to its investments as well--a double whammy. Japanese autos not only have their own market to themselves, but they sell far more cars overseas than U.S. automakers do. So they were far better able to take the hit than U.S automakers. You are taking micro view when a macro view is necessary.
  • Reply 108 of 179
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I don't know this for certain, but I strongly suspect that Pixar was/is mostly unionized.



    Could be. Cleaning workers are part of SEIU at Apple facilities. This is one of the most militant and effective unions out there. When you represent the most disrespected class of workers, you need to be.
  • Reply 109 of 179
    gcom006gcom006 Posts: 73member
    And if it makes any pro-union people feel better, I dislike the stock market in general far more than unions and view it as an even bigger problem.



    Apple is a wonderful example to center on in both discussions though, as it's very clear that Apple/Jobs is not a pro-union guy and wouldn't stand for any of the union antics at all, and they're also a public company that consistently refuses to bow to the will of the shareholders for the sake of the company.



    They say things that are unpopular. They're vague. They're straight up secretive. They don't reward shareholders despite record profits, preferring to bank the money for strategic investments in the future. Then they spend billions on these "strategic investments" without expanding any more on what they actually are.



    But all the while they "somehow" seem to be ahead of the curve, ever-increasingly profitable and generally the most highly-regarded company in the world, lead by the most admired CEO in the world.



    Maybe there's something to that.



    Companies that continually bow to unions and to shareholders are continuing to struggle. Who's really leading the company at that point? Anyone? You can't progress successfully with that kind of leadership in place. You need the right people with the right ideas calling the shots because that's what their job is. All of this quarter-to-quarter profit concern crap leads to completely backward thinking. Most businesses need to take risks to innovate and remain successful. The more difficult you make it for a business to do that, the less successful the business will ultimately be.



    If you don't have strong enough leaders to stand up to the unions and the shareholders in this day and age, you're doomed. I don't care if it's cliche, it's still one of the best quotes on business I've ever read, and I think it applies well to all matters at hand.



    "If I'd have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me 'A faster horse.'" -Henry Ford
  • Reply 110 of 179
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Not irrelevant at all. The U.S. had a total collapse of its economy, the Japanese did not. Do you really think that Japanese workers would be more effected by that than American auto workers? Not only did American auto buyers go into a non-purchasing mode, but the American auto industry took a hit from losses to its investments as well--a double whammy. Japanese autos not only have their own market to themselves, but they sell far more cars overseas than U.S. automakers do. So they were far better able to take the hit than U.S automakers. You are taking micro view when a macro view is necessary.



    You do realize that Honda sells more cars in the United States than in the rest of the world combined including Japan? Also, Honda and Toyota manufacture their cars for Americans in the United States and both have separate entities set up in the United States.
  • Reply 111 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    People are not slaves, they have every right to form or join a union if they so desire.



    They also have a right to not work for an employer they feel is screwing them over
  • Reply 112 of 179
    popnfreshpopnfresh Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    And if they choose to unionize what would be their bargaining power? If let's say all retail employees for major department stores belonged to the same union, they might have some leverage since if one store was picketed the union could cause all other stores to also go on strike, but short of that kind of coordinated walk out, the Apple retail employees would have virtually no bargaining power whatsoever.



    It wouldn't take a union of all retail employees everywhere. If Apple Store employees unionized they could shut down Apple's retail operations if they went on strike. That's plenty of leverage right there. And a successful strike would inspire employees at other retailers to unionize.
  • Reply 113 of 179
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    This is one of the most militant and effective unions out there.







    SEIU = lowlife thugs, a bunch of losers and mindless drones, sporting their unfashionable purple shirts. One of the worst unions in the USA, without a doubt.
  • Reply 114 of 179
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post


    Good thing there's a clear way to justify logically which side should get what percentage of the output. A worker is hired at a certain rate to make a product. If that product should be less profitable, should the worker be subject to a pay cut? Do you think these institutions would stand for that? How do you think the unions liked the idea of changing the auto lines from the big, profitable SUV's to smaller cars with much slimmer profit margins? Oh yeah, on top of that, it'd make many jobs irrelevant. Again, they didn't like the idea much at all.



    The workers union may oftentimes make the product, but they do little to steer the direction of the ship. They don't tend to innovate or do research or develop marketing strategies. They're not the one's spending massive amounts of money to take chances that may or may not be profitable. But the company absolutely does need the flexibility to be able to change and evolve or the company might as well have their workers start digging a metaphorical company grave.



    The bottom line is that the company needs money to do this. They also need money to pay the brightest minds that generate ideas leading to successful, profitable products so all the workers can have a job at all and keep making those products. Profits should be largely banked for the future, strategic investments should be made when necessary and the brightest minds paid accordingly. The longterm sustainability of the company should always be the primary dictating factor in determining what to do with profits. I would go so far as to say this is not only the most logical choice, it too is also morally justified.



    If the management from the auto companies and the workers unions had focused on this objective more over the years, a lot more Detroiters would still have good jobs and the "Big 3" might still actually mean something.



    Did the CEO, CFO, COO, and all the other C_Os take a pay cut? No. So why should the guy at the bottom take a pay cut? BTW its not the unions job to innovate. Thats like Apple depending on Foxxconn to come up with ideas for its next device. GMs R&D dept was asleep for way too long.
  • Reply 115 of 179
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post


    It wouldn't take a union of all retail employees everywhere. If Apple Store employees unionized they could shut down Apple's retail operations if they went on strike. That's plenty of leverage right there. And a successful strike would inspire employees at other retailers to unionize.



    Ok and whats wrong with that?
  • Reply 116 of 179
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    You do realize that Honda sells more cars in the United States than in the rest of the world combined including Japan? Also, Honda and Toyota manufacture their cars for Americans in the United States and both have separate entities set up in the United States.



    +1000000 I was just going to write that and you beat me to it. BTW did you know that GM is the biggest importer of cars into the US?
  • Reply 117 of 179
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    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.



    @MacRulez,



    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.
  • Reply 118 of 179
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    They also have a right to not work for an employer they feel is screwing them over



    To what end? Is a person to continue going from job to job because employers know they can screw with people? In a big city people have choices of where to work but in small towns its much less. I dont know about you but I dont see many HELP WANTED signs out there.
  • Reply 119 of 179
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    @MacRulez,



    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 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 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 the.

    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.



    Shoot if every company were like that there would be no need for unions.
  • Reply 120 of 179
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


    To what end? Is a person to continue going from job to job because employers know they can screw with people? In a big city people have choices of where to work but in small towns its much less



    Employers are not slave-owners, friend. There are labor laws, regulations, etc. If an employer isn't following the law, there are places to report them to. If you've been treated unfairly, feel free to sue.



    There's opportunity abound. If you live in a small city and you're limited to what jobs are available, well, then move. Seriously, if you want to be a famous actor, come to Los Angeles. If you want to be an animator, go to Georgia. If you want to be a game developer, Seattle is calling you. *YOU* have to make the effort if you want a good living, not rely on some organization to decide that for you.



    If you don't like your job, find a new one. Not qualified to find a better one? Go to school and get some training. Don't want to go through the effort and work hard? Deal with your situation, then, and stop complaining that your HIGH-DEMAND job forces you to work so hard when there are tons of applicants just waiting to replace you.
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