Apple uses Towson store as a warning against store unions

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is continuing its efforts to prevent its retail staff from unionizing, with Apple using the events of the Towson store as a warning to others.

Towson Apple Store
Towson Apple Store


So far, attempts at physical Apple Stores have seen relatively few unionizations, after Apple started work to try and prevent them from forming. Efforts in Towson and Oklahoma City have resulted in unions, while others such as in Atlanta and St. Louis have seemingly stalled progress.

Over the last two weeks, managers at Apple's U.S. stores have met with staff members to discuss the risks of unionization, and to offer an update on bargaining between Apple and the Towson, Maryland store. In Mark Gurman's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, it seems that the efforts so far have curtailed the union momentum.

The meetings had management describe the Towson store as a cautionary tale to other staff members. The details included how the union representing Towson employees, IAM, requested 1.5% of pay as dues, and that under union proposals, employees who didn't comply with payment could end up terminated within a month.

There was also an allegation that managers at the store were also giving more priority to full-time employees who wanted weekends off, putting pressure on part-timers to work those periods instead. Additionally, longer-tenured employees would be prioritized over newer employees.

Managers also criticized union representatives for the St. Louis Apple Store for allegedly misleading workers.

Furthermore, managers warned that authorization card signatures were binding documents and not a detail-gathering exercise for unions. "Signing an authorization card means that you're authorizing the union to speak on your behalf and it means you want the union to be your exclusive representative," Apple said to employees.

Apple has also been negotiating with the Towson store, but has so far failed to find common ground with the 20 proposals from the store and the two from the iPhone maker. One proposal agreed by Apple was an update to the nondiscrimination policy that adds the union won't tolerate discrimination.

Among the proposals rejected by Apple include weekly pay instead of biweekly pay, using a third-party arbitrator, a respect and dignity clause, scheduling policy changes, and basing promotions and layoffs on tenure. Negotiations are ongoing over health and safety, staff training, and determining what happens if a store permanently closes.

According to the Huffington Post, the meetings in a hotel in downtown Baltimore have been fruitless, with workers believing Apple doesn't want to make any deals with a unionized store.

"They are fighting us at every step of the process," said store employee Kevin Gallagher. "It feels like they're trying to drag this out as long as they can."

Some Towson employees were outraged when they discovered managers were sharing some of the union's proposals with other stores, with bargaining committee Billy Jarboe insisting the proposals were cherry-picked and taken out of context to make the union look as bad as possible.

"There's a great plan to dismantle this movement and invalidate it in any ways they can," Jarboe claimed.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 555member
    I work retail, no union and full-timers and more senior employees get the better shifts. That’s how it goes. You work your way to better shifts. New employees don’t have the right over employees who’ve worked there a long time to demand the prime shifts. 
    DooofusdewmebaconstangiOS_Guy80CloudTalkinmagman1979
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Basically the unions benefit the worst employees and hurt the best ones. Sorry, but you guys got what you wanted. Enjoy the union!
    iOS_Guy80radarthekatmagman1979jibdocno42
  • Reply 3 of 14
    gorbaggorbag Posts: 5member
    I don't understand. They're complaining that scheduling is based on tenure, but they want promotions and layoffs to be tenure-based.

    Whatever happens, Apple should NOT implement check-off (i.e. withholding of union dues). Let the union come and collect them from each employee in cash.
    radarthekatjibdocno42
  • Reply 4 of 14
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 536member
    As I posted early on, this Union thing is stupid and will back fire in these workers.

    why? One word, leverage.

    these retail workers are not machinists, pilots or some auto assembly people with special skills that are hard to replace. 

    So just because you form an union, Apple doesn’t have to agree to your proposals, because Apple can replace them easily. And with economy slowing down, it will become even easier.

    1.5 percent pay as u ion dues is just the start, it will be more and more.

    these idiots didn’t understand who they were and what unions are.
    magman1979
  • Reply 5 of 14
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,854member
    Unions are just mob tactics that found legal loopholes. 

    Shouldn’t exist in the USA. 

    I remember union dues - and how they’d mysteriously go up every now and then. 

    No business owner who actually cares about staying in business wants to deal with union crap. 

    They negotiate for a lot more than the employees make - to fill the union boss pockets. 

    When the company doesn’t go for it, the union has all the employees walk out protest, shutting down the company and in some cars, killing it. Then nobody has a job. Yay. 
    edited April 2023
  • Reply 6 of 14
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,867moderator
    JP234 said:
    Basically the unions benefit the worst employees and hurt the best ones. Sorry, but you guys got what you wanted. Enjoy the union!
    Absolutely the oldest corporate anti-union trope. It was BS in 1920 when Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, WV hired goons from the Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency to beat, pillage and murder union activists. It was BS then, and it's BS now. Without organized labor, bud, you'd be working 6 day, 80 hour weeks, with no pension, no sick leave, no raises, and no overtime. You would be paid in company scrip, which you could only use at the company store, to buy your own supplies and equipment, food, drink and everything else. You'd pay the rent on your company housing to the company store, and at the end of your 80 hour week, you'd owe more than you made. Your children would get sick from drinking company milk that is cut with water to save the company money, and laced with formaldehyde to keep it from spoiling. Get injured on the job? Too bad, here's your walking papers, and your pay is docked for leaving early to get stitched up.

    And that's just the beginning. If you trust that employers will treat you fairly out of the goodness of their hearts, or from "enlightened self interest," history is a great indicator that you're very, very wrong.
    Pretty sure laws have taken care of most, or all,
    of the dire scenarios you paint.  And it seems to me that laws [regulations] are a far better way to create a fair and safe working environment than unions, as laws automatically apply to all, not just those who organize themselves. Unions had their place but I don’t see them as having much of a place in the modern working environment.  
    edited April 2023 jib
  • Reply 7 of 14
    JP234 said:
    Basically the unions benefit the worst employees and hurt the best ones. Sorry, but you guys got what you wanted. Enjoy the union!
    Absolutely the oldest corporate anti-union trope. It was BS in 1920 when Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, WV hired goons from the Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency to beat, pillage and murder union activists. It was BS then, and it's BS now. Without organized labor, bud, you'd be working 6 day, 80 hour weeks, with no pension, no sick leave, no raises, and no overtime. You would be paid in company scrip, which you could only use at the company store, to buy your own supplies and equipment, food, drink and everything else. You'd pay the rent on your company housing to the company store, and at the end of your 80 hour week, you'd owe more than you made. Your children would get sick from drinking company milk that is cut with water to save the company money, and laced with formaldehyde to keep it from spoiling. Get injured on the job? Too bad, here's your walking papers, and your pay is docked for leaving early to get stitched up.

    And that's just the beginning. If you trust that employers will treat you fairly out of the goodness of their hearts, or from "enlightened self interest," history is a great indicator that you're very, very wrong.
    I agree. If you believe that Unions are bad, then have a think about how you came to that point of view. I’ve been taught that unions are bad my whole life, through education, the press and my family’s beliefs. But, I then remember that much of this is because those points of view have been peddled by big corporations and governments that are paid off by the same. 

    Unions, in my experience, are run by people who have a genuine desire to fight for workers rights, and are the only way to ensure that workers have some leverage against firms who can, and do, put profits ahead of workers. 

    However, if you believe that companies should only pay employees a as little as they can regardless of the companies’ profits, and that 1.5% of pay is ‘a racket’, then I won’t convince you. 
    get seriousJP234
  • Reply 8 of 14
    I have seen both the good and bad of unions. From a union rep who used his position to weasel his way into a cushy job at a different plant and another who exposed fraud in a company saving workers super as the place was about to go under. The unions are only as good as the people who run them.
    dewmemuthuk_vanalingamget seriousbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 9 of 14
    sorry Superannuation (or Super for short) is our retirement system over here in Australia and we have pretty big unionisation here
    get serious
  • Reply 10 of 14
    9secondkox2 said: No business owner who actually cares about staying in business wants to deal with union crap. 
    Business owners don't like unions because the union does the same thing they do: use whatever leverage is available to get better terms for themselves. Nobody in corporate management is shy about using leverage so there's no reason for the union to be shy about it either. 
    get seriousJP2349secondkox2
  • Reply 11 of 14
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,758member
    JP234 said:
    And that's just the beginning. If you trust that employers will treat you fairly out of the goodness of their hearts, or from "enlightened self interest," history is a great indicator that you're very, very wrong.
    This isn't the 1930's.  95% of people no longer live within 5 miles of where they were born  :p
  • Reply 12 of 14
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,854member
    Apple doesn’t have to try to make the union look bad. Unions do that by themselves. 
  • Reply 13 of 14
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,854member
    9secondkox2 said: No business owner who actually cares about staying in business wants to deal with union crap. 
    Business owners don't like unions because the union does the same thing they do: use whatever leverage is available to get better terms for themselves. Nobody in corporate management is shy about using leverage so there's no reason for the union to be shy about it either. 
    The difference is the corp. has something to lose, which is WHY they operate the way they do. 

    You come up with the capital, you spend to create a great product, you spend to market, you spend to create sales channel relationships, you spend to hire, you spend to insure, you spend and spend and spend, all in hopes of returning a profit. Then some leech starts pushing you around telling you how to run your business and manipulating your employees to make it more difficult to keep a healthy business. 

    Unions are mob tactics to make the people running the unions richer, regardless of damage to the company. 

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