Apple Store employees in the United States quietly try to unionize
It’s not just workers at Amazon and Google who hope to organize. Sources speaking to The Washington Post say workers at six or more U.S. Apple Stores are quietly considering unionization, with “at least” two stores already garnering support from national unions and preparing submissions to the National Labor Relations Board.
As you can guess, the central issue is remuneration. Employees talk to The post office said their salary was similar to that of other stores, but did not keep up with the rising cost of living. Apple’s corporate success hasn’t translated into better salaries either, employees said.
Pro-union workers reportedly organized in secret to avoid possible eavesdropping and retaliation from Apple, using encrypted chats and even Android phones to keep communications private. Employees allegedly informally approached co-workers to gauge support and potentially secure majorities in the event of a union vote.
We’ve asked Apple for a comment. The company previously said it takes all employee concerns “seriously” and investigates issues “thoroughly” when they arise, but did not discuss specific employee issues out of “respect for privacy” of those involved. Apple already appears to be aware of the unionization efforts, however. Much like Amazon, Apple is apparently using managers to issue anti-union warnings, such as claims that workers could see their pay and benefits cut.
This isn’t the first time Apple has dealt with unhappy team members with working conditions. Last year’s #AppleToo campaign collected hundreds of stories of toxic workplaces of retail and corporate employees. Apple hasn’t shown clear signs of addressing these concerns, however, and has reportedly expelled and fired #AppleToo organizers. There is no guarantee that the unions will improve conditions, but it is increasingly clear that staff members want better treatment.
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