Apple circulating anti-union talking points to retail store managers

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  • Reply 21 of 27
    Wall of Text Warning:

    Having been in a union and not being in a union, I prefer the latter.  The union I was in wasn’t bad; they did negotiate good contracts with the company I work for, and in general, the relationship was good.  However, the stewards were very much bitter against the company, and were inciting us to not work late, volunteer for overtime, and “stay within the lines” of our job, which isn’t my style.

    I prefer to get the job done, and if it takes 9-10 hours on an 8 hour day, so be it.  Managers were very much “we have to stick to the contract rules” (as they had to be), they looked the other way when I did that, and I just kept it under the radar.

    The salary thing was interesting… especially in these times of 3% unemployment and 8-25% inflation (official vs. felt inflation).  If the contract doesn’t account for this, or if they account for the official CPI number (8-ish%), but the actual inflation is higher (23-25%), unfortunately, the contract rules, and most contracts have a “no strike” clause, where the workers are not allowed to strike while the contract is in place.  Also, the pay raises are also on a set date, which will lag the prices going up.  This whole preamble will be actualized like this (for example):
    - Prices go up 20% (including food, gas, housing, and other things that aren’t calculated in the CPI number)
    - CPI goes up 8% (CPI is a political number, as no administration wants to see a high CPI; it might be close, but many assumptions are made)
    - Contract stipulates that raise pool is  4%, distributed based on performance, plus Cost of Living (COLA) of the CPI
    - Raises are awarded, and a high performer gets a 6% performance raise, plus 8%, so they get 14% vs. 20% actual price increases 
    - There is no recourse, as the contract is for 4 years (in this example)

    Then there comes layoffs…
    There are two ways I’ve seen on this:  Seniority and Retention Rating
    Seniority is Last in, First Out. If a 20% layoff is announced, the last 20% of the people are cut, whether you’re a high performer or not.
    Retention Rating is where the workers are rated on performance and put into “buckets”, like R1 (40%), R2 (40%), R3 (20%), where when there’s a layoff announced, the company tells the Union that x% are being cut, and if it’s 20%, all of the R3 people are gone.  It gets really fun when the number doesn’t fall on the retention lines (i.e. 25% - who are the 5% that get cut from R2?).  Even funner is a stipulation that people performing a new job get an R3 on their first year, whether they were a R1 in their last job or not.

    A contract is a legal document, and is enforceable by law, so any complaints you have will default to that.

    I don’t know how Apple management works, but once there is a contract, they have to live by it as well,  The other funny part is that if a coworker filed a grievance against me for working those OT hours, I would get written up.

    This is a versus, “Hey boss, I’m going to finish this up.  It’ll take me an extra 2 hours.”
    ”OK”

    To me, these are just different flavors of ice cream
  • Reply 22 of 27
    macbootxmacbootx Posts: 56member
    If one were to examine objectively the overall pay and benefits package offered to both full- and part-time Apple Retail employees, I believe unionization stands to give these employees little more, they stand to lose more than they will gain.
  • Reply 23 of 27
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,681member
    Wall of Text Warning:

    Having been in a union and not being in a union, I prefer the latter.  The union I was in wasn’t bad; they did negotiate good contracts with the company I work for, and in general, the relationship was good.  However, the stewards were very much bitter against the company, and were inciting us to not work late, volunteer for overtime, and “stay within the lines” of our job, which isn’t my style.

    I prefer to get the job done, and if it takes 9-10 hours on an 8 hour day, so be it.  Managers were very much “we have to stick to the contract rules” (as they had to be), they looked the other way when I did that, and I just kept it under the radar.

    The salary thing was interesting… especially in these times of 3% unemployment and 8-25% inflation (official vs. felt inflation).  If the contract doesn’t account for this, or if they account for the official CPI number (8-ish%), but the actual inflation is higher (23-25%), unfortunately, the contract rules, and most contracts have a “no strike” clause, where the workers are not allowed to strike while the contract is in place.  Also, the pay raises are also on a set date, which will lag the prices going up.  This whole preamble will be actualized like this (for example):
    - Prices go up 20% (including food, gas, housing, and other things that aren’t calculated in the CPI number)
    - CPI goes up 8% (CPI is a political number, as no administration wants to see a high CPI; it might be close, but many assumptions are made)
    - Contract stipulates that raise pool is  4%, distributed based on performance, plus Cost of Living (COLA) of the CPI
    - Raises are awarded, and a high performer gets a 6% performance raise, plus 8%, so they get 14% vs. 20% actual price increases 
    - There is no recourse, as the contract is for 4 years (in this example)

    Then there comes layoffs…
    There are two ways I’ve seen on this:  Seniority and Retention Rating
    Seniority is Last in, First Out. If a 20% layoff is announced, the last 20% of the people are cut, whether you’re a high performer or not.
    Retention Rating is where the workers are rated on performance and put into “buckets”, like R1 (40%), R2 (40%), R3 (20%), where when there’s a layoff announced, the company tells the Union that x% are being cut, and if it’s 20%, all of the R3 people are gone.  It gets really fun when the number doesn’t fall on the retention lines (i.e. 25% - who are the 5% that get cut from R2?).  Even funner is a stipulation that people performing a new job get an R3 on their first year, whether they were a R1 in their last job or not.

    A contract is a legal document, and is enforceable by law, so any complaints you have will default to that.

    I don’t know how Apple management works, but once there is a contract, they have to live by it as well,  The other funny part is that if a coworker filed a grievance against me for working those OT hours, I would get written up.

    This is a versus, “Hey boss, I’m going to finish this up.  It’ll take me an extra 2 hours.”
    ”OK”

    To me, these are just different flavors of ice cream
    Always interesting to hear actual experiences— thanks for posting!

    Seems to me that the best way to prevent unionization is to treat employees with respect and pay them fairly. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 24 of 27
    jibjib Posts: 33member
    Here is an example of how a union gets in the way of a manager accommodating a workers wishes:
    My friend was in a union job when he took a year off from college.  The contract provided that a worker got his birthday "off."  My friend's birthday was on a Thursday, so he went to his boss and asked if he could take Friday instead.  The boss said ok.  However, the union came down on him because he dared to ask his manager, and made him take Thursday off because the union had "worked hard to get him that benefit, and he should be grateful." And how dare he go to his supervisor for such an issue.

    I personally have worked in union jobs, non-union jobs, and been a manager at unionized and non-unionized employers.  I greatly prefer non-union.
    Madbumjeffythequick
  • Reply 25 of 27
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 88member
    jib said:
    Here is an example of how a union gets in the way of a manager accommodating a workers wishes:
    My friend was in a union job when he took a year off from college.  The contract provided that a worker got his birthday "off."  My friend's birthday was on a Thursday, so he went to his boss and asked if he could take Friday instead.  The boss said ok.  However, the union came down on him because he dared to ask his manager, and made him take Thursday off because the union had "worked hard to get him that benefit, and he should be grateful." And how dare he go to his supervisor for such an issue.

    I personally have worked in union jobs, non-union jobs, and been a manager at unionized and non-unionized employers.  I greatly prefer non-union.
    Hey Question, a union gets its power essentially from being able to organize strikes right? “We want A terms agreed to or we strike”, right? And that is powerful if it’s Pilots or Steel workers etc but how powerful do you think it would be for Apple store workers that are pretty easily replaced?
  • Reply 26 of 27
    Madbum said:
    jib said:
    Here is an example of how a union gets in the way of a manager accommodating a workers wishes:
    My friend was in a union job when he took a year off from college.  The contract provided that a worker got his birthday "off."  My friend's birthday was on a Thursday, so he went to his boss and asked if he could take Friday instead.  The boss said ok.  However, the union came down on him because he dared to ask his manager, and made him take Thursday off because the union had "worked hard to get him that benefit, and he should be grateful." And how dare he go to his supervisor for such an issue.

    I personally have worked in union jobs, non-union jobs, and been a manager at unionized and non-unionized employers.  I greatly prefer non-union.
    Hey Question, a union gets its power essentially from being able to organize strikes right? “We want A terms agreed to or we strike”, right? And that is powerful if it’s Pilots or Steel workers etc but how powerful do you think it would be for Apple store workers that are pretty easily replaced?
    They can also have rules in the contract, unless it's a Right to Work State, that all people working there must belong to the union.  That happened to me in California when I worked at Gemco (see how old I am?), and in Washington when I worked for another company.  Typically, management will treat all of the employees the same (too much drama if they don't), but the non-represented people (again, RtW State) can take advantage of the lack of rules, but are also subject to the lack of protection.

    For disputes between the company and a union member, there can be a Steward with the employee while they are being disciplined, and for that matter, any 1:1 interaction between management and the represented employee.

    I'm pretty sure that the Apple Union would have the "you must belong" clause in the contract, as a means of enforcement and survival (of the union).

    However, the people covered by the contract can be Beck Objectors, where all they have to pay is the cost of administration of the contract, and not be members of the Union.  They may not have voting rights, though.
    edited May 13
  • Reply 27 of 27
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 88member
    Madbum said:
    jib said:
    Here is an example of how a union gets in the way of a manager accommodating a workers wishes:
    My friend was in a union job when he took a year off from college.  The contract provided that a worker got his birthday "off."  My friend's birthday was on a Thursday, so he went to his boss and asked if he could take Friday instead.  The boss said ok.  However, the union came down on him because he dared to ask his manager, and made him take Thursday off because the union had "worked hard to get him that benefit, and he should be grateful." And how dare he go to his supervisor for such an issue.

    I personally have worked in union jobs, non-union jobs, and been a manager at unionized and non-unionized employers.  I greatly prefer non-union.
    Hey Question, a union gets its power essentially from being able to organize strikes right? “We want A terms agreed to or we strike”, right? And that is powerful if it’s Pilots or Steel workers etc but how powerful do you think it would be for Apple store workers that are pretty easily replaced?
    They can also have rules in the contract, unless it's a Right to Work State, that all people working there must belong to the union.  That happened to me in California when I worked at Gemco (see how old I am?), and in Washington when I worked for another company.  Typically, management will treat all of the employees the same (too much drama if they don't), but the non-represented people (again, RtW State) can take advantage of the lack of rules, but are also subject to the lack of protection.

    For disputes between the company and a union member, there can be a Steward with the employee while they are being disciplined, and for that matter, any 1:1 interaction between management and the represented employee.

    I'm pretty sure that the Apple Union would have the "you must belong" clause in the contract, as a means of enforcement and survival (of the union).

    However, the people covered by the contract can be Beck Objectors, where all they have to pay is the cost of administration of the contract, and not be members of the Union.  They may not have voting rights, though.
    Why would Apple have to use any of these union people at all let along sign a contract? Like I said, you cannot find pilots or steel workers  right away but I am pretty sure they can hire people who know how to use iPhones and macs pretty quick and want a job?
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