The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a labor group organizing Apple retail staff at an Atlanta, Georgia, retail store has withdrawn their request for an election because Apple is using illegal union-busting tactics, according to Bloomberg.
The CWA claims that Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible.” “Apple has conducted a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union,” the labor group claims.
This isn’t the first time that the CWA has accused Apple of bullying activities. On May 19, it accused the tech giant of illegal union-busting tactics, reports Bloomberg.
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 labor group filed an unfair labor practice reporting the activity. 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 had planned to hold a union election on June 2. If approved the Cumberland Mall location would have been 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.