Apple faces labor board complaint over anti-union tactics

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has received a complaint from the US National Labor Relations Board over accusations of union-busting at a New York City store.

Apple World Trade Center
Apple World Trade Center


The Communications Workers of America (CWA) urged the board to do so when it accused Apple of anti-union activities at the company's World Trade Center store on May 19. That wasn't the first time that the CWA has accused Apple of such activity and said the company had violated the National Labor Relations Act.

On May 12, leaked documents revealed Apple's anti-union talking points to store leaders across the United States in the hopes that it would help suppress unionization efforts by retail workers.

Next, on May 17, Apple retail workers in Atlanta's Cumberland Mall Apple Store said the company held captive audience meetings. The tactic requires workers to attend anti-union meetings.

The National Labor Relations Board had allowed captive audience meetings until the last 24 hours before an election. However, the board suggested at the time that they could violate the National Labor Relations Act.

Then, on May 19, Apple was accused of union-busting at its store at the World Trade Center, the location that triggered a formal complaint from the National Labor Relations Board on October 4. Again, the CWA accused the company of captive audience sessions.

"When we learn about Apple violating the law, we try our best to defend workers' rights," CWA deputy organizing director Tim Dubnau said at the time. "It's time for them to just back off and allow workers to choose for themselves whether or not they want a union."

Apple issued a statement about the complaint.

"We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple," Apple said to Bloomberg on Tuesday. "We regularly communicate with our teams and always want to ensure everyone's experience at Apple is the best it can be."

This differs slightly from what Apple said in the spring, but the message was essentially the same.

"We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees," Apple said after the May 19 incident, "including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    red oakred oak Posts: 964member
    Snowflakes.  Try to find a better job in retail 
    davgreg
  • Reply 2 of 10
    normangnormang Posts: 118member
    Apple should assist them in finding a better job by closing these locations...  
    Madbumdavgreg
  • Reply 3 of 10
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,326member
    normang said:
    Apple should assist them in finding a better job by closing these locations...  
    Maga? Maga?
    ronnbeowulfschmidtAlex_V
  • Reply 4 of 10
    red oak said:
    Snowflakes.  Try to find a better job in retail 
    If the law is being broken, restitution is due.

    Apple's culture is to relentlessly improve whatever it can, in order to make life better for everyone. There are very few sacred cows. This attitude has led to great improvements over time as the "clearly, provably better" wins out over the "cheapest initial price" stuff. This is to be lauded.

    One company, however, despite its size and general attitude, cannot be separate from the law of the land. If Apple feels that what it offers is the best overall for its employees but the law disagrees... well, tough luck for Apple. If the employees disagree, they can leave or they can negotiate different conditions. An individual negotiating with a company the size of Apple... Apple's not going to give much up. So collective bargaining is a reasonable option to pursue. Apple trying to stop that process is understandable, but they have to go about it the right way, and if they didn't (which is still disputed) then they pay the price.

    It is the right of every employee to have their grievances heard. If enough employees have grievances that they will unite to try and enforce change, then it's hard to describe this situation as the actions of a small number of disaffected and/or unreasonable individuals. Whether Apple likes it or not, these people are demonstrating that Apple has room to improve in a significant area of its business and the company now needs to walk the talk.
    chasmronnmuthuk_vanalingamgrandact73
  • Reply 5 of 10
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 298member
    So the morons could not convince people to vote for union and now they want to sue.

    my god, somebody take out the trash please?

    close the stores and make these losers work in Burger King and form union there


    edited October 5 Paul_B
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Paul_BPaul_B Posts: 82member
    Madbum said:
    So the morons could not convince people to vote for union and now they want to sue.

    my god, somebody take out the trash please?

    close the stores and make these losers work in Burger King and form union there



    They would not last an hour at Burger King.  You have to make Burgers at Burger King - and the workers at Burger King know the difference between lettuce and tomato.
    Madbum
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Why are American companies so scared of unions?
    FileMakerFellerAlex_V
  • Reply 8 of 10
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 298member
    Take out the trash please Apple

    do we really need that many stores?
  • Reply 9 of 10
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 981member
    I would prefer Apple take this to the Supreme Court and directly go after the Wagner Act and shatter the NLRB and the very concept of unions in the United States.

    Unions in the American mold are cancer and need to go away. The track record of union companies in the US is not good compared to non union.

    The current occupant of the White House has appointed people who think they are going to revive trade unionism in a profoundly changed world. This is not 1933 and there is no good reason a burger flipper, coffee pourer or retail worker should have any kind of bargaining position with an employer past the day they are hired.

    Unions are desperate - beyond government employees they are almost totally irrelevant. Notice that the auto industry has largely moved away from the deeply union Midwest for the south. BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, VW, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Rivian, & Tesla are all located in the South or are moving that way with new projects. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
    davgreg said:
    I would prefer Apple take this to the Supreme Court and directly go after the Wagner Act and shatter the NLRB and the very concept of unions in the United States.

    Unions in the American mold are cancer and need to go away. The track record of union companies in the US is not good compared to non union.

    The current occupant of the White House has appointed people who think they are going to revive trade unionism in a profoundly changed world. This is not 1933 and there is no good reason a burger flipper, coffee pourer or retail worker should have any kind of bargaining position with an employer past the day they are hired.

    Unions are desperate - beyond government employees they are almost totally irrelevant. Notice that the auto industry has largely moved away from the deeply union Midwest for the south. BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, VW, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Rivian, & Tesla are all located in the South or are moving that way with new projects. 
    [emphasis added]

    If you want to treat people as automatons, perhaps it's better to completely automate the process you have a person performing.

    Recall that Japan became an economic powerhouse following World War II after the US sent in Dr W Edwards Deming as part of the rebuilding effort. Dr Deming attributed the vast majority of failures to company management and instituted a system of continuous improvement based on feedback from every single employee in a company.

    If you believe that the employer is the only party providing benefit and that paying money to an employee is the paramount consideration, you are ignoring or devaluing the contributions that an employee brings to the company and the time that they are sacrificing to help achieve the company's goals. EVERY business, to thrive, needs to be continually changing (even in extremely minor ways) to meet the needs of customers as efficiently as possible. Every employee needs to provide effort towards that goal, and thus is entitled to have their say.
    Alex_Vronn
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