Apple accused (again) of violating the National Labor Relations Act

For the second time this week, Apple is being accused of illegal union-busting tactics, reports Bloomberg.

The tech giant violated federal labor law by interrogating staff, restricting the posting of union fliers and requiring employees to attend mandatory anti-union speeches, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) alleged in a Wednesday filing with the National Labor Relations Board.

The alleged conduct took place at Apple’s World Trade Center store in New York City, a CWA representative said. Asked about the filing, an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company “deeply values the contributions of its retail employees.”

On May 17, The Verge reported that Apple retail employees in Atlanta are accusing the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act by holding captive audience meetings to counter an ongoing union drive at the site.

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.

The CMA, which is working to organize the store, filed an unfair labor practice reporting the activity earlier today. The CWA is the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.

A captive audience meeting is a mandatory closed-door meeting held during work hours by the employer. Such meetings aren’t illegal, but they’re highly regulated by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law, and employers are prohibited from threatening, interrogating, or making promises to employees during them. (The NLRB is an independent agency of the federal government of the U.S. with responsibilities for enforcing U.S. labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices.)

Apple retail employees in Atlanta plan to hold a union election on June 2. If approved the Cumberland Mall location will be the first unionized Apple retail location in the US. In April, it became the first Apple retail location to file for a union election in the US. Workers at the Grand Central Terminal store in New York have also launched a union drive, as have workers at the Towson Town Center store in Maryland.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.