Apple allegedly gave union-busting scripts to retail managers

Apple allegedly gave union-busting scripts to retail managers

Apple has trained retail store managers on how to try to dissuade employees from unionizing, says Vice. The report says the company sent a document full of talking points like “an outside union that doesn’t know Apple” or its culture, or “most union contracts give preference based on seniority.” The document also encourages store managers to “contact” employees about potential union activities.

It comes at a time when there are union campaigns at several Apple retail stores – two have formally asked the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections, and another is seeking to do so. It was pretty clear that Apple would try to fight these efforts; the company hired union-busting lawyers, and at least one worker said The edge that the company staged a meeting with a captive audience to air anti-union talking points. However, it is always interesting to see exactly the types of arguments used by the company.

The document, which is embedded in Vice‘s report, says it may not be possible for store workers to work as a team if a union represents them, saying a union “would actually be talking for» employees on work-related issues (emphasis in original). It gives managers an example to cite as a time when Apple listened to feedback from retail employees and made changes based on it, then warns that a union could “make things more complex and rigid “. According to the document, leaders “would not have the flexibility to act in the moment or to respond to each person’s unique needs.”

There are also points that caution against “a rigid union contract that must be adhered to at all times”, making it difficult for employees to pursue unusual opportunities or receive merit-based benefits. What if a union contract meant employees could only do exactly what their job description said, he asks.

According to Vicemanagers at select Apple Stores have been spreading the company’s message in weekly meetings.

If some of these stitches sound familiar to you, it’s probably because they’re similar to those used by other companies. Ahead of its own union elections, Amazon reportedly held captive audience meetings in which workers were told that the interests of union negotiators might not align with theirs. The company’s CEO described unions as “slower and more bureaucratic” compared to employees with a direct link to their managers.

It’s also worth noting that even Apple’s talking points acknowledge that the supposed disadvantages aren’t inherent in unions – contracts aren’t. to have impose rigid working conditions or favor seniority. And while there are established unions involved in labor campaigns at Apple stores, the organizers themselves are Apple employees, despite the company’s claims that “most of our interactions are in the hands of a third”.

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