Some U.S. Apple Store employees are working to unionize, part of a growing worker backlash, according a Feb. 18 report by the Washington Post. And Apple is getting ready to fight back, informing store managers to tell retail workers that they could lose benefits and career opportunities if they unionize, according to Motherboard.
In the talking points of a leaked memo, obtained by the publication, the tech giant says that highlights that workers could lose career growth opportunities, the ability to take time off for personal reasons, and merit-based promotions if they vote to unionize.
“The quality of your work may not even be a factor,” the talking points read. It has also instructed managers to tell workers that if they unionize they could face “fewer opportunities,” have less “flexibility,” and that the company will pay “less attention to merit.”
Quoting unnamed “people familiar with the matter,” a Bloomberg article says that groups at at least two Apple retail stores are backed by major national unions and are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) soon.
Last month Apple retail workers at the Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, filed for a union election. The employees are unionizing with the Communications Workers of America. At least a half dozen more locations are purportedly at less-advanced stages in the unionization process.
Bloomberg has reported that Apple is giving many of its retail workers raises due to inflation, the difficult labor market, and complaints about working conditions.
The wage rates offered by Apple are generally in line with the pay of other retail jobs. However, Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world, and these workers think they should share more of the success.
What’s more, employees organizing a union at Apple’s Grand Central retail store in New York City are seeking minimum pay for all workers of US$30 per hour, reports CNBC.
They’re also seeking improved benefits including tuition reimbursement, more accessible vacation time and better retirement options. An Apple employee-led organizing committee is collecting authorization cards, which determines the level of unionization support at the workplace, according to CNBC.