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Apple agrees to third-party audit of labor practices amid union-busting charges


Apple Store employee efforts to unionize have been growing and along with that, Apple has been accused of illegal union-busting tactics. Now after pressure from a coalition of investors, Apple has shared that it will undergo a third-party audit to check if it is complying with its human rights policies.

Reported by The New York Times, last week Apple submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that confirmed it has agreed to an assessment of its labor practices in the US.

“There’s a big apparent gap between Apple’s stated human rights policies regarding worker organizing, and its practices,” said Brad Lander, the New York City comptroller, who helped initiate the discussion with Apple on behalf of the city’s public worker pension funds.

The news comes after Apple has been officially charged by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for violating union-busting laws in both Atlanta and New York City.

And in December, Apple was also accused of creating an Apple-led “pseudo-union” to prevent a worker-led union from forming in Ohio. For its part, Apple has claimed that it has not used any illegal tactics.

Apple’s filing with the SEC states that it will hire a third party to handle the audit and has guidelines including “hiring a firm that has expertise in labor rights and that does not advise companies on how to avoid unionization.” It recommended that the firm be ‘as independent as practicable.'”

Apple has not shared any details on the firms it is considering and declined to comment on the matter when asked by the NYT. However, it says it will “conduct the assessment by the end of the year and that it would publish a report related to the assessment.”

In the meantime, we’ll see if either of the existing NLRB complaints makes it to a federal court. Plus at least one lawsuit by Apple Store employees is in the works.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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