Apple allegedly intimidates retail workers into canceling union vote

Apple allegedly intimidates retail workers into canceling union vote

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Apple Store employees in Atlanta and New York work to unionize for higher pay
Apple Cumberland Mall will not become the first Apple store with a union.
Photo: Apple

Employees of an Apple store in Atlanta won’t be voting to form a union after all. They withdrew their request with the National Labor Relations Board, and said Apple had carried out “a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them.”

It remains unknown how this will affect employees trying to unionize at an Apple retail store in New York

Atlanta Apple Store ends union efforts

Retail employees make up a significant percentage of Apple’s headcount, and none of them are currently unionized. A pair of stores started an effort to change that. However, Apple reportedly did its best to nip the union drives in the bud.

Apple Cumberland Mall in suburban Atlanta was scheduled to hold a union vote after 70% of its workers signed cards of support. But Communications Workers of America, the union helping the employees organize, sent out a statement Friday saying the election had been dropped.

“Apple has conducted a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union,” said the CWA statement. “We are not moving forward with the election given what Apple’s response has been and the coercive environment they created.”

Going union busting

Apple came out swinging against the employee efforts to unionize. The Communications Workers of America filed two complaints with the NLRB accusing the iPhone-maker of intimidating workers.

Apple also hired Littler Mendelson, a law firm with a history of helping businesses prevent employees from unionizing.

And Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s SVP of retail and human resources, sent an anti-union video to employees this week.

“I worry about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship,” O’Brien said in the video. “An organization that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business. And most importantly one that I do not believe shares our commitment to you.”

Via: CNBC and Bloomberg