Apple looks to stop employee union efforts
As it stands today, the exact scope of unionization efforts among Apple Stores in the United States is unclear. Thus far, we know that Apple Store employees at locations in New York City, Atlanta, Maryland, and more have taken the first steps towards unionizing.
The memo obtained by Vice is being distributed to Apple Store Leaders at a number of stores across the United States. The memo outlines a number of suggested “talking points” that Store Leaders should use when unionization comes up as a discussion at their stores. According to Apple, unions would “fundamentally change the way we work.”
Apple’s goal with the memo is to have Store Leaders convey that under a union structure, many discussions between Apple and retail employees would be placed “into the hands of a third party.” This would impact the ability for employees and leadership to “engage directly.”
Store Leaders are also being instructed to point out that Apple has made a number of changes to policies and expectations over the years based on feedback from retail employees. It would also impact the ability for Store Leaders to “have the flexibility to act in the moment or to address each person’s unique needs like they do now.”
In perhaps the most aggressive part of the memo, Apple outlines that unionization would mean “fewer opportunities” and “less attention to merit” for things like promotions, raises, days off, and more. Apple specifically is instructing Store Leaders to emphasize that unionization would impact “Career Experiences.” This specifically appears to refer the possibility of a retail employee getting promoted to Apple Corporate or moving to work for another team.
Finally, Apple does point out that the company could not directly tell employees whether or not they should support unionization (even if it is clearly trying to do exactly that with this memo). It would be “your choice to make an educated decision,” Apple says.
The full memo can be found at Vice. Apple has not yet publicly commented on the contents of the memo, nor has it made any recent comments on the broader unionization efforts.
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