Apple Store Employees Talk Of Unionizing On 10th Retail Anniversary

Apple Store Employees Talk Of Unionizing On 10th Retail Anniversary

If Apple's Retail Store employees strike, their demands are likely to be very different.

On the day of Apple’s 10th Retail Store anniversary, not everyone’s celebrating: in fact, a small but vocal group of Apple Store employees is working hard even now to unionize in response to what they term unfair treatment and compensation.

The group is called the Apple Retail Union, whose announcement includes this modus operandi:

We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we work in one of the most demanding retail environments while suffering through unfair treatment and compensation among many other various issues… We deserve better. Our time has come

Whether or not the Apple Retail Union’s time has actually come or not — we imagine Steve Jobs would have something to say about that — it does seem as if there might be growing talk about unionizing. MacWorld says they’ve heard growing reports amongst employees in the Pacific Northwest about unionizing, and even mention that an attempt at negotiating with management at the Alderwood Store occurred sometime recently, and may be the closest Apple’s retail employees have come so far to collective action.

Retail worker unions aren’t entirely unheard of, even though they can sometimes be rare. What’s more interesting is how Apple would react to attempts to unionize in its retail space. Would Steve Jobs turn union buster? The Apple Retail Union might be on the verge of finding out.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    It doesn’t matter what Jobs has to say about it one idiot billionaire can’t control tens of thousands if the tens of thousands give him the finger and say screw you. Considering Jobs is known for being a complete prick the employees would have a hard fight in front of them. My view more power to them and I hope they get everything they want. 

  • B066Y

    If this is something the workers as a whole want, I guess that’s good for them. I’ve always viewed unions as a hindrance to my personal negotiations with employers. I’ve always been able to get raises and compensation based off of what I bring to the table. Of course, I don’t work in retail. Unions seem like they would be the main reason American Companies go to other states and overseas when looking to expand. Also, I guess I don’t see the benefit of striking and maybe losing my job. I know if I were an employer, and my workers went on strike I would fire all of them and then hire nonunion workers. I don’t live in a big union state though so I don’t even know if that is legal, I do know that unions don’t go over well in my state. 

  • Moons

    Use to work in an Apple retail store in VA I can understand their frustration. Some of there specialist can sell 1+ million dollars worth of product in a year and get paid like 25-30 thousand dollars if they’re lucky

  • Connor O’Neill

    Calm down dear! Please remember, Steve co-founded a company that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, so he is no idiot! Also, he is not known for being a prick, he is arrogant; there is a difference. Plus, it’s a small minority that are annoyed, the people I know that work for Apple retail say they love their jobs, they have no problems! It’s just a needy little bunch who want the backs patted and told ‘Wow! Thats great!’ every time they take a step.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     As far as I know firing striking employees so you can hire non unionized employees IS ILLEGAL. This isn’t Russia dude.

  • munale

     if they don’t like their job they should quit or work for foxconn

  • Moons

    Hey moons again of course we tell YOU a customer that we love our job because…well you’re a CUSTOMER we’re expected to go out to you guys and be cheerleaders and smile while: one being personal trainers, two technicians for almost any problem on the Mac even issues with people plugging completely random third party peripherals in their machines, and usually the busiest store in the mall all for $10-12 an hour. Don’t get me started on answering questions about anntenogate last year or about all the rumors sites like this start or product launches in the future. ‘so my cousin told me the iPad 5 was coming out this Christmas . What can you tell me about it?’

  • Moons

    Hey moons again of course we tell YOU a customer that we love our job because…well you’re a CUSTOMER we’re expected to go out to you guys and be cheerleaders and smile while: one being personal trainers, two technicians for almost any problem on the Mac even issues with people plugging completely random third party peripherals in their machines, and usually the busiest store in the mall all for $10-12 an hour. Don’t get me started on answering questions about anntenogate last year or about all the rumors sites like this start or product launches in the future. ‘so my cousin told me the iPad 5 was coming out this Christmas . What can you tell me about it?’

  • Oyechico

    what an idiotic thing to say. You must be one of those Maddows ass kisser!

  • Oyechico

     Hey, Trollers. Its a job. and most jobs are very demanding. But unionizing, what a crock o shit.

    They deserve all thats coming to them!

  • prof_peabody

    Commissioned sales are the worst model for the customer though.  If you want to make a wage based on how “good” a salesperson you are (usually this equates to how underhanded you are actually), get a job in used autos or insurance.  

    A salesperson doesn’t need to know much or be very smart.  25-30 thou a year is more than such employees are actually worth and more than you would get in a lot of other stores. 

  • prof_peabody

    For someone calling out others for “hatin” your post is full of it (BS as well as hate that is).

    PS – Jobs is actually *not* “known for being a complete prick.”

  • prof_peabody

    For those commenting about foxconn …

    foxconn is actually a union shop. 

  • mahimahimahi

    Yay, higher prices.  I’m sorry, but isn’t Apple retail the toughest retail job to obtain.  These idiots knew damn well what the job would require yet they still feel entitled to a raise. Sheesh.  In the 1930′s unions were a need, in 2011, it is a burden.

  • Moons

    Lol you must think I’m stupid I never said that apple should switch to commissioned sales. You kind of just made that up. But anyway what I was saying is that if you go to a Macys or Nordstroms they usually start at around $13/hour if theyre lucky they may sell $250,000 a year and deal with less stress then an Apple retail employee. Plus it’s ignorant for you to think just because someone’s a good salesman automatically means they’re underhanded. If you’ve been to an apple store you know there isn’t much convincing needed to push apple products out the door.

    But then you’re asking that person to rebuild relationships via anntenagate, privacy issues, etc. Some kid going to college making $10-12/hour isn’t supposed to be your PR rep, technician, trainer, and your sales rep.

  • Moons

    Yea and depending on how high the demand the job is most people get awarded accordingly

  • Moons

    Trust when I say that the training they provide you doesn’t prepare you for what the job would require….at all

  • mahimahimahi

     If you don’t like the job, quit. It is easy and saves you frustration.  Why didn’t you research before you submitted your application?  I don’t see this as Apple’s fault, it is your own fault for not knowing what you were getting in to.

  • John Doe

     I sure that it is the specialists that are looking at this. When I worked as an ICS I made great money. My only complaint was the stupidity of the specialist not being able to do a customer return.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Apple sold that product, not you. You turned on the lights, answered questions, solved problems, represented Apple, ran the cash register, etc.

    If you want to sell the product, become an Apple authorized reseller, buy wholesale product, open your own storefront, advertise, take all the risks, and then sell the product. Then and only then will YOU have sold the product.

    And IF you’re successful, you might even have to hire an employee or two to help you turn on the lights, answer questions, solve problems, represent Apple, and run the cash register. Then enjoy it as the employee will demand high wages because “he” sold a million dollars worth of product.

  • Deltabravo13

     Ask Al Gore if an Apple retail union is a good thing

  • Lacylips

    In “right to work” states, which is most of them, you can faire anybody anytime for any reason. The opportunities to move up in Apple are amazing. Ho one will coddle you to get there though. Personal initiative will. The unions only benefit those that take no personal responsibility for getting the job done well and actually “working” to be better and more valuable to their employer therefore making more money. Support you local lazy ass – Join a union

  • Eric

    If they negotiate a contract it will probably be for less than they get and they’ll end up paying for the medical they get for free.

  • Moons

    I didn’t know you could research everything that one of the most secretive companies in the world would require you to do (job description on apple’s website definitely doesn’t mention half the things you do there). Wow can you tell me that link? And everybody else in the world too we would all love that link and again never said I didn’t like the job loved it just think some people deserved an extra $3-5/ hour that they weren’t getting. I’ve worked other retail jobs crappier then apple and felt I was getting paid what I deserved and like I said I enjoyed my time at apple but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed the pay for the work me and my coworkers were doing.

    But I guess quitting comes easy to you seems to be a quick answer for you too??? It’s always funny how people who weren’t in that situation always have the most to so say about the situation. How’s a college student supposed to just quit in the job market we have today maybe you should do some research and realize that not to many places are hiring new graduates these days and most apple retail employees are definitely college students

  • CHRIS

    Should be like Walmart. any talks of a union, your FRIED!!

    IF YOU THINK APPLE PRODUCTS ARE EXPENSIVE NOW, A UNION WILL ONLY HIKE UP THE 

    PRICES BY DEMANDING MORE $$ & expect MORE EXPENSIVE BENEFITS.

    IN-WHICH, APPLE AS A COMPANY WOULD have PASS THE savings onto the it’s consumers.

    EVER RUN A BUSINESS BEFORE?

    UNIONS SHALL BE THE THINGS OF THE PAST.  WOULD NEED TO SEARCH ON THE INTERNET FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THEM. 

    ANY PERSON THATS EMPLOYED BY APPLE or ANY SUCCESSFUL COMPANY FOR THAT MATTER, SHOULD BE GRATEFUL OF ITS EMPLOYMENT. 

    REMEMBER, YOUR TRADING HOURS FOR DOLLARS NOT IDEAS FOR MILLIONS!!

  • Magnus

    Macy’s and Nordstroms deal with LESS stress?  Moons, your a moron.  You have clearly NEVER worked at those places.  I have worked at Dillards, Macy’s, Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth and many others and not only does Apple offer far more benefits, less stress and a more enjoyable work environment, but its the best retail I have ever done.  

    If people don’t like their job, quit and try and find another. Apple told them upfront what their pay would be and they accepted.  People complain too much.

  • Magnus

    Again, you got three days of training and then an additional 3 days of training and then you watched other people work for a few more days before you were comfortable enough to talk to people a product that sells itself and YOU STILL WERE NOT PREPARED????

    wow man, I do not think a job that requires talking is right for you

  • tk422

     You’re a complete moron. And totally wrong along with it.

    UPS is entirely Union. Workers get three times the wages and better benefits than Fed Ex, yet UPS prices are cheaper and service is better.

    You’re either a paid anti union shill or you don’t have the brains you were born with.

  • tk422

     Good for them. Hope they unionize. Unions are the only way to go to get any kind of wage equality back.

    People here bad talking unions are either paid shills, or completely deluded.

  • realchrisjones

     If this happens look for prices to go up on all products. Unions are a great way to destroy a business.

  • Jens Hauge

     All these anti-union commenters are frightening. Has anyone heard of the weekend? Has anyone heard of the 8-hour day? Has anyone heard of the middle-class? We got those through unions. It’s really since the decline in unions (starting especially around 1970s) that the middle class began to collapse. I for one want to see our country prosper and that everyone be compensated fairly. Driving the middle class into the ground through bad working conditions and poor compensation is wrong. Apple is better than Walmart, and they can do the right thing. If many of the other commenters on this post have their way, we’ll all be licking Steve Jobs’ boots. 

  • Jens Hauge

      All these anti-union commenters are frightening. Has anyone heard of the weekend? Has anyone heard of the 8-hour day? Has anyone heard of the middle-class? We got those through unions. It’s only since the decline in unions (starting especially around 1970s) that the middle class began to collapse. I for one want to see our country prosper and that everyone be compensated fairly. Driving the middle class into the ground through bad working conditions and poor compensation is wrong. Apple is better than Walmart, and they can do the right thing. If many of the other commenters on this post have their way, we’ll all be licking Steve Jobs’ boots. 

  • tracywalter

    A easy and wonderful way to save money is by using “Printapons”. Printapons are online coupons that are dispersed based on your city. Each coupon saves at least 50% off the regular price of an item in your city.

  • B066Y

    Wow…”paid shills, or completely deluded.” Unions did great things in the past, however now, in the USA, they simply keep lazy people employed and drive away potential employers. I would never voluntarily become a union worker. All pay should be merit based, if you’re a good employee you get a raise if you’re a bad employee you get warned and then fired. Unions make it difficult, if not impossible to fire a bad employee. 

  • Equality 7-2521

    I don’t believe Apple is FORCING them to work there. They’re free to go look for work somewhere else.

  • Equality 7-2521

     How do you know all this?

  • Jens Hauge

    cause I’m wicked smart… There’s a lot of resources out there. The thing that gets me is that most of these benefits were won a long time ago, and we’ve been riding those union wins for a long time. I think that sending our country in the right direction is about people being active on all fronts, and unionization is one critical step toward building a more prosperous future.

  • tk422

    Wrong.

    Unions keep corporate abuses at bay and grow wages.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Try firing unionized workers during a strike and see what happens idiot. As for your stupid ass comment its millions of unionized workers backs that built N America for greedy cunt rags like. To bad this isn’t the good old days when assholes like you would either STFU of get your legs broken. LAZY  PENCIL PUSHING BITCH

  • iHate_Is_Back

     No the fault lies with assholes like you who go to these Apple Stores and act like stupid idiots and treat the staff like they’re your personal slave.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    No asshole those employee’s who put up with stupid cunts like you sold the product. They’re the ones who listen to your bitching and fix the problem when they don’t have to because you’re to stupid or lazy to figure it out yourself. They’re the ones who have to put up with the headaches and listen to you bitch and whine like some 4 four year old brat. It’s their service that brings the customer back not asshole Jobs and his stupid you’re holding it wrong comments. If you’re going to comment don’t say stupid shit.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     ………..
    ……………..
    Man you’re stupid. There’s a difference between a rat union and a real union. Contrary to popular belief real democratic modern day unions don’t last very long in a communist system.

    Dumb dumb dumb that’s all i can say.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    bad post

  • iHate_Is_Back

     the only lazy people out there are fuckheads like you sitting behind a desk shoving other peoples money into your fat ass. Break a sweat for your money instead of stealing it from your employees you lazy pig.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     An you’re free to shove your comment straight up your arrogant ass

  • iHate_Is_Back

     Fight the good fight kid
    You have my respect \m/

  • iHate_Is_Back

     The right way to a healthy economy is a strong middle class not a rich POS upper class that doesn’t work and only concentrates on stealing money from the middle/lower class. If people like you had their way we’d be licking your toilet for food. You can get on your knees and suck my dick you asshole because it isn’t going to happen.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     WTf do you care about higher prices? You’re an iSheep who pays through the ass for a pretty computer with an Apple on it so you can be hip.

  • mahimahimahi

    Trollin much? I believe their job description is to go out of their way to help the customer. After all, what would they be paid for if they didn’t do their job? I think you need to reasses your assumption of me. I do not treat them like my personal slave. I don’t force apple employees to build pyramids or aqueducts. I ask them for help and they then do their very easy job of answering questions.

  • Markus Desmedt

    My God you Americans are so very hateful. If Apple employees want to stand up for their rights, then let them. I never worked in an Apple Retail Store or Apple Premium Reseller or Walmart kinda shop, so I don’t judge.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    If giving answers to simple questions is so easy then why are you wasting your time packing up your Apple gear and driving all the way to an Apple Store to get a simple answer to a simple question. By your own admission it’s a simple question therefore it should have a simple enough answer. Why don’t you sit down think about it for 10 seconds and figure out the simple answer to your simple question. According to you it’s supposed to be an easy job.
    YOUR POST IS TOTAL FAIL

  • mahimahimahi

    Did I even say simple in my post? Are you twelve? Act civilly please.

  • Anonymous

    Really? Without Jobs what exactly would Apple Store employees be selling? Your angry rant hardly makes sense. 

  • iHate_Is_Back

     Quote:
    ———–
    Did I even say simple in my post? Are you twelve? Act civilly please.
    ———–
    I suggest you reread my last post to you and stop acting like a twelve year old girl having a temper tantrum. My last post lacked any profanity and was very civil and asked a very direct question in rebuttal to your comment.

    Directly quoted from your last post:
    ———–
    I ask them for help and they then do their very EASY JOB of answering questions.
    ————
    In order for the job of answering questions to be easy then it stands to reason that the questions are simple. If the questions were hard then the job wouldn’t be easy. If the questions aren’t easy and it takes some knowledge of how to work a machine and its OS then these employees are highly knowledgeable with skills that not everyone has therefore their job isn’t easy and not everyone could do it because it takes a certain amount of knowledge training and skill to do it.

    If you still maintain their job is easy then I stand by my last comment and again ask WHY DON’T YOU FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF AND NOT WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME PACKING UP YOUR GEAR AND DRIVING TO AN APPLE STORE? It’s supposed to be easy so it shouldn’t be a problem for you. If you can’t figure it out yourself then it isn’t as you put it easy now is it?

  • iHate_Is_Back

     Without the people to create sell fix and maintain the products Jobs would be living off his rich wife’s inheritance. You’re stupidity is painful to read.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     whoa whoops sorry I responded to the wrong poster. I’m on your side

    I’m not American dude.

  • iHate_Is_Back

     I’d like to fry your fucking ass in the electric chair.
    Considering you’re such a pig the smell of roast pork would be quite pleasant.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re going to talk about my stupidity, you may want to make sure to not make foolish grammar mistakes in the same sentence. Stop trolling and go back to your pathetically angry, resentful, and delusional life. And have fun dreaming of a day when retail employees receive more recognition than a CEO because they deal with “headaches”. I won’t be surprised if you comment to this post as well as you seem to have a lot of time on your hands for visiting a blog you hate.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Whats the madda mang? Is the little Apple boy pissed because his magical and revolutionary Mac is chug chug chugging along with the beach ball and an Apple rep told him they can’t uninstall MacDefender. LMFAO. Little man empty headed little plebs like you make my night. I guess there’s nothing else left to say except go fuck yourself you fascist pig.

    Toodles little isheep I hope you continue to enjoy living it up in your own reality distortion field. Job’s sure seems to love it.

  • iHate’s a faggot

    Hey troll suck a dick u faggot cock suckin loser. 

  • Alex M

    U have 197 posts on cultofmac. hahaha dude do u have a life? stop hating on shit that doesnt even care about u. 

  • JI48M

    fag…

  • Adam Richardson

    Where u from faggot? 

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Awwww look we’ve been invaded by a little emo fag who likes cock in his mouth. Aighhh mang ya poppa pop yer cherry yet

  • iHate_Is_Back

    I’m the neighbor who comes over and fucks your mom in the ass every night.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    cunt rag

  • williams22

    Unions were originally set up to help ensure the less educated were treated fairly in the work place. I’m sure the Apple Store employees do not put themselves in this category..

    Retail Job Descriptions

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , |