Apple holds nationwide meetings with retail workers to ‘discuss the risks of unionization’

Apple has been battling a growing push among retail employees to unionize, with a store in Towson, Maryland becoming the first Apple Store to successfully unionize last year. Bloomberg now reports that Apple is continuing its efforts to stop stores from unionizing, including nationwide meetings with retail employees to “discuss the risks of unionization.”

The latest on Apple Store unionization efforts

The news comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in the latest edition of the Power On newsletter. According to this report, Apple Store managers held meetings with employees over the last week, using talking points based around “a prepared message” from Apple’s corporate teams.

In the meetings, Apple emphasized the “risks of unionization” and provided an update on bargaining efforts at the Apple Store in Towson, Maryland. Apple referred to the current negotiations in Towson as “a bit of a cautionary tale,” according to the report today.

Managers told workers that the union representing Towson employees — International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or IAM — is requesting dues that amount to 1.5% of pay. Managers said that amount of money could quickly add up over time and that employees who don’t comply with the payment could be terminated within a month, based on the union’s proposals.

Managers also said the Towson store is giving more priority to full-time employees who want to take weekend days off, putting part-timers at a disadvantage. Similarly, they warned stores that longer-tenured employees at the Towson outlet would be prioritized over new staffers for jobs.

So far, two Apple Stores in the United States have voted in favor of unionization, including the store in Towson and another store in Oklahoma City. Workers at Apple Stores in Atlanta and St. Louis backtracked on plans to unionize, with some employees criticizing union representatives and others blaming “increased hostility” from Apple for the decision.

In the meetings this week, Apple managers specifically used the situation in St. Louis as a talking point against unionization.

And they indicated that unions could make changes without employee permission, echoing comments from Apple retail chief Deirdre O’Brien last year. Managers also pointed to the Apple store in St. Louis, where workers dropped their unionization efforts last year and criticized union representatives for allegedly misleading them.

Furthermore, the managers explained the unionization process in a way that some employees saw as an attempt to pour cold water on the idea. If only a small fraction of employees participate in a labor election — and a majority of that group votes to join — the union will still apply to the entire store, managers explained.

Finally, Bloomberg points out that Apple “did attempt to thread the needle in its messaging,” reminding employees that it is their right to vote on unionization. “While Apple didn’t say it, the underlying message to the company’s tens of thousands of retail employees was clear: If your store unionizes, you may be at a disadvantage,” Bloomberg explains.

As far as the negotiations in Towson go, today’s report also says that “the two sides haven’t found much common ground.” The union has made around 20 proposals and Apple has made just two. The company has so far only agreed to one of those proposals: “an updated nondiscrimination policy that adds language saying the union itself will not tolerate discrimination, rather than just Apple.”

Apple has rejected proposals on things like switching from biweekly to weekly pay, using a third-party arbitrator, scheduling changes, and more.

Follow Chance: TwitterInstagram, and Mastodon

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. The sea.

Source link

Naveen Kumar

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

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button