Apple Accused By Union Of Staff Law Violations At NY Store

Apple is being accused of allegedly violating federal labour laws at one of its retail stores in New York.

The accusation comes from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which alleged Apple is interrogating and surveilling its staff at the Apple World Trade Center store.

It is alleged that Apple restricted staff from posting union fliers and made them attend mandatory anti-union speeches.

CWA allegations

The accusations comes as Apple staff in a number of its retail stores take steps to form or join trade unions, including in New York’s Grand Central Station, Atlanta and Maryland.

The CWA said it filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, against Apple for multiple federal labor law violations on behalf of workers at stores in Atlanta and New York City.

According to the trade union Apple (allegedly) violated the National Labor Relations Act by interrogating staff, surveilling workers, restricting the posting of union fliers, and requiring employees to listen to anti-union propaganda during mandatory “daily download” meetings.

“Whether or not we join a union should be up to the workers at the store,” said Derrick Bowles, who works at the Cumberland store in Atlanta where workers are organizing to join CWA.

“By having store managers try to persuade us not to join the union during daily downloads, Apple is putting its thumb on the scale.”

Last week, the CWA alleged a leaked memo revealed Apple has been circulating anti-union talking points for store managers in multiple Apple locations.

It also alleged that Apple hired anti-union lawyers from the notorious union-busting firm Littler Mendelson in order to prevent workers from having a union voice.

Union drive

Big businesses in the United States are seeing renewed interest in trade unions, amid a rising tide of workplace activism as staff demand better pay and working conditions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

Amazon for example for the first time in it’s nearly 28-year history, saw staff at the JFK8 warehouse in the New York City borough of Staten Island vote for organised labour.

Apple for its part has previously stated that it offers “strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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