Apple refuses to recognize Southampton store union, staff pushes forward anyway

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2023

Apple has rejected the unionization efforts of its UK-based Apple Southampton location, prompting the staff to push for statutory trade union recognition without Apple's approval.

Apple Southampton (Source: Apple)
Apple Southampton (Source: Apple)
In September,

staff at the Apple Southampton store formally requested management recognize their union, following Apple "eroding" customer service and staff conditions.

Now, the UK-based trade union United Tech and Allied Workers (UTAW) at Apple has shared a statement alleging that management at Apple has refused to recognize UTAW voluntarily.

An update from Apple Southampton: pic.twitter.com/r0jXlSglqB

-- UTAW@Apple (@AppleUTAW)



The statement notes that UTAW will begin the process of applying to the Central Arbitration Committee for statutory trade union recognition, regardless of Apple's involvement.

Southampton staff has called out Apple over disciplinary processes, pay, shift patterns, and the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff. They have also expressed fears about job security, notably for those who work at Apple's Genius Bar.

Apple Glasgow became the first UK Apple Store to formally unionize, and to have that union recognized by Apple.

However, UTAW has alleged that Apple has employed anti-union tactics to prevent more stores from unionizing. It claims that management uses the implied threat of disciplinary action to chill union talks.

Deirdre O'Brien, head of retail, has claimed before that Apple has a relationship with its retail staff "based on an open and collaborative and direct engagement." She worried "about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    I'm not familiar with Limey labor law, so I have no idea how the process works.

    But good on the union for not giving up and keeping up the fight to protect Apple employees!
    godofbiscuitssfronn
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Apple is already a great employer. No need for a union.
    macxpress
  • Reply 3 of 10
    lorenac said:
    Apple is already a great employer. No need for a union.
    If Apple were a great employer, they'd recognize the union.
    larryaronnmuthuk_vanalingamchasmgatorguydarkvader
  • Reply 4 of 10
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,782member
    lorenac said:
    Apple is already a great employer. No need for a union.
    If Apple were a great employer, they'd recognize the union.
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    spliff monkey
  • Reply 5 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,229member
    macxpress said:
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    Perhaps you didn’t actually read the article? The staff concerns are around the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff, as well as shift patterns, pay, and disciplinary processes.

    Just because Apple Stores may (or may not) be a better gig than Walmart, doesn’t meet they can’t improve. Being a top Apple Store employee requires a HUGE range of technical skills PLUS excellent communication skills PLUS genuine enthusiasm for selling and customer relations, and much more. Such jobs should be well-paid, and employees well-treated.


    ronngatorguymacxpressdarkvader
  • Reply 6 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    chasm said:
    macxpress said:
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    Perhaps you didn’t actually read the article? The staff concerns are around the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff, as well as shift patterns, pay, and disciplinary processes.

    Just because Apple Stores may (or may not) be a better gig than Walmart, doesn’t meet they can’t improve. Being a top Apple Store employee requires a HUGE range of technical skills PLUS excellent communication skills PLUS genuine enthusiasm for selling and customer relations, and much more. Such jobs should be well-paid, and employees well-treated.


    +1
    muthuk_vanalingamronndarkvader
  • Reply 7 of 10
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,782member
    chasm said:
    macxpress said:
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    Perhaps you didn’t actually read the article? The staff concerns are around the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff, as well as shift patterns, pay, and disciplinary processes.

    Just because Apple Stores may (or may not) be a better gig than Walmart, doesn’t meet they can’t improve. Being a top Apple Store employee requires a HUGE range of technical skills PLUS excellent communication skills PLUS genuine enthusiasm for selling and customer relations, and much more. Such jobs should be well-paid, and employees well-treated.


    Perhaps they're just exaggerating to get more than they deserve too? 

    They're also paid quite well for their skillset. For more than any other retailer. If you don't like where you work you can always go some place else. Nobody is making them work there. 
    edited December 2023
  • Reply 8 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    macxpress said:
    chasm said:
    macxpress said:
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    Perhaps you didn’t actually read the article? The staff concerns are around the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff, as well as shift patterns, pay, and disciplinary processes.

    Just because Apple Stores may (or may not) be a better gig than Walmart, doesn’t meet they can’t improve. Being a top Apple Store employee requires a HUGE range of technical skills PLUS excellent communication skills PLUS genuine enthusiasm for selling and customer relations, and much more. Such jobs should be well-paid, and employees well-treated.


    Perhaps they're just exaggerating to get more than they deserve too? 

    They're also paid quite well for their skillset. For more than any other retailer. If you don't like where you work you can always go some place else. Nobody is making them work there. 
    Have you looked into what Apple UK store employees make? Unless you're in management or an Apple Genius it's not much, roughly what sales staff makes at other retail stores.

    In my searches I found "The average salary for an Apple retail employee in the United Kingdom is £27,900 per year, or £14.31 per hour. Entry-level positions start at £27,225 per year".
    So no, not "far more than any other retailer", even if the stores themselves are far more profitable per square foot than most anyone else's. 
    edited December 2023 ronnHedwaremuthuk_vanalingamdarkvader
  • Reply 9 of 10
    gatorguy said:just the usual Americans wanting to bring slave working conditions for employees. 
    macxpress said:
    chasm said:
    macxpress said:
    Or people are just greedy and think they deserve more. They already offer more than nearly any retailer out there. 
    Perhaps you didn’t actually read the article? The staff concerns are around the treatment of disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill staff, as well as shift patterns, pay, and disciplinary processes.

    Just because Apple Stores may (or may not) be a better gig than Walmart, doesn’t meet they can’t improve. Being a top Apple Store employee requires a HUGE range of technical skills PLUS excellent communication skills PLUS genuine enthusiasm for selling and customer relations, and much more. Such jobs should be well-paid, and employees well-treated.


    Perhaps they're just exaggerating to get more than they deserve too? 

    They're also paid quite well for their skillset. For more than any other retailer. If you don't like where you work you can always go some place else. Nobody is making them work there. 
    Have you looked into what Apple UK store employees make? Unless you're in management or an Apple Genius it's not much, roughly what sales staff makes at other retail stores.

    In my searches I found "The average salary for an Apple retail employee in the United Kingdom is £27,900 per year, or £14.31 per hour. Entry-level positions start at £27,225 per year".
    So no, not "far more than any other retailer", even if the stores themselves are far more profitable per square foot than most anyone else's. 

  • Reply 10 of 10
    The Glasgow union is a part of the GMB — “officially known just as GMB, the trade union has been formed by multiple mergers over decades. Prior to adopting the name GMB, it was known as the General, Municipal, Boilermakers' and Allied Trade Union (GMBATU).” 

    These Southampton employees are looking to bring in a different union, the UTAW. It’s hard to say more without knowing more about UK trade unions and the differences between them, but it hardly seems surprising that Apple would not just rubber-stamp a completely new relationship with a different union than the one they are already working with in the UK.
    edited December 2023 spliff monkey
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