Motherboard reports that Apple has begun instructing retail store managers to prevent store employees from unionizing. In the materials sent out, the company notes that employees will lose career opportunities and get personal leave if they vote to form unions.
Apple notes that engaging in union activities will deprive employees of a number of opportunities, reduce flexibility, and the company will also pay less attention to the merits of these employees. The corporation said in a statement that the unions will fundamentally change Apple’s work policy.
Over the past few weeks, three of the company’s stores in Atlanta, New York and Maryland have applied to the NLRB for union elections. The first merger vote will take place on June 2 at the Apple Store in Cumberland Mall, Atlanta. If successful, the store will be the first to successfully form a union among Apple outlets.
The corporation tells managers that having a well-performing team "makes a great store," but union organizing can get in the way. Apple Store executives used this argument in employee meetings.
It is currently unknown how many store managers were sent these instructions from Apple. Several Apple Store executives confirmed receipt of the message.
Apple employees are unionizing in hopes of increasing their wages, benefits, medical care, tuition reimbursement, parental and family leave, and a range of other benefits.
Last month, the non-profit think tank Economic Policy Institute published a paper showing that unions are driving higher wages and benefits for all company employees, not just union members. Trade unions help counter segregation, discrimination and other forms of intolerance in the labor market, EPI found.
Some Apple retail workers said the reason for organizing unions is to have a say in the company’s planning system, which allows employees to strike a work-life balance. However, in the message, the company threatens to lose flexibility in the event of a merger.
Apple’s guidelines portray unions as a third party in the relationship between management and store employees. The company claims that the labor union will make everything more difficult and less flexible because it is not involved in the culture of Apple.
The corporation declined to comment on the distribution of messages with instructions.
Earlier in April 2022
At the end of last month, Apple hired lawyers from Littler Mendelson, a company that specializes in countering labor unions. Previously, employees of the company worked with McDonald’s and Starbucks.