| Cult of Mac

Apple store workers vote to unionize

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Apple Store workers in Maryland vote to unionize
Apple store employees in Towson, Maryland, voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Photo: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Employees at an Apple store in Maryland have made it the first of any of the Mac-maker’s retail locations to vote in favor of joining a union. Several other such stores are preparing to hold their own votes. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to discourage any efforts by its employees to unionize.

It’s not clear how all this will affect users of Apple devices.

New scheduling policies make Apple stores better places to work

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Apple West Lake
Improvements to scheduling rules for Apple retail employees are likely intended to head off unionizing efforts.
Photo: Apple

Apple U.S. retail store employees now get a minimum of 12 hours between shifts, up from 10 hours. And they won’t have to work more than five days in a row. These are just two of the changes Apple is reportedly making to how it schedules workers at its 270+ retail locations.

It’s likely these are intended to reduce employee interest in joining unions.

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

Apple raises pay for retail and corporate employees

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Apple store
Good news, Apple retail employees!
Photo: Apple

Apple employees can to look forward to raises. The company sent an email to its workers informing them it’ll spend more on employee compensation this year. And starting pay for retail workers is going up 10%.

This is happening as Apple faces increasing competition for employees in a tight labor market, and its retail workers are starting to unionize.

Apple accused of hindering employee efforts to unionize

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Apple moves to head off employee union efforts
It seems Apple won't sit quietly while its retail employees unionize.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Workers attempting to form unions at multiple Apple retail stores allege the iPhone-maker is breaking federal labor laws in its attempts to block these efforts.

If the allegations bear out, it’s more than a bit hypocritical – Apple requires its component suppliers to allow their employees to join unions.

Apple moves to head off employee union efforts

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Apple moves to head off employee union efforts
It seems Apple won't sit quietly while its retail employees unionize.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly working with Littler Mendelson, a law firm with a history of helping companies prevent their employees from unionizing. The move comes in the wake of workers at several Apple stores moving to form unions.

If true, then Apple is going to do what it can to prevent the thousands of employees at its 250+ retail locations in the United States from organizing for collective bargaining.

Apple store workers eye unions for higher pay

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Apple Store employees in Atlanta and New York work to unionize for higher pay
The Apple Store in Cumberland Mall could soon become the first to have a union.
Photo: Apple

Dozens of workers at an Apple store in Atlanta reportedly plan to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to become a union. Employees at an Apple retail store in New York are moving in that direction, too.

These could be the first U.S. Apple store employees to unionize. Both groups are asking for higher wages.

Union! Apple retail employees move to unionize

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Union! Apple retail employees move to unionize
While these Apple Store employees are clearly happy, some don’t feel they are being paid as much as they could. So they’re unionizing.
Photo: Apple

Workers at some Apple Stores are reportedly planning to unionize. Employees are two stores are close to filing paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board and more are moving in that direction.

They say their goal is a larger share of Apple’s huge profits.

Apple Requiring Union Training For Retail Managers

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Apple Store at NYC's 5th Ave. (Photo by Phil Photostream - http://flic.kr/p/8S9RCu)
Apple Store at NYC's 5th Ave. (Photo by Phil Photostream - http://flic.kr/p/8S9RCu)

Cue up the Norma Rae theme music. Apple is about to go up against the unions. Well, not quite. The tech giant is starting mandatory training for retail store managers that includes the “legal do’s and don’t of dealing with unions.” The training comes as Apple marks the 10th anniversary of its retail stores, now numbering 357 worldwide.