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Australia: Apple accused of trying to ram through ‘potentially unlawful’ workplace agreement

Apple's Sydney retail store

Apple has been accused of trying to ram through a new workplace agreement that would see staff work up to 60 hours a week without overtime while obstructing union consultation with workers, slammed as potentially unlawful by representatives, reports SmartCompany, a website that is the “voice of Australian entrepreneurship, publishing breaking news, must-read analysis and hearty advice.”

The article says that, following communication breakdowns, the Australian Services Union (ASU) and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) are taking their bargaining stoush to the Fair Work Commission on Friday, alleging Apple had breached good faith bargaining principles.

The unions claim Apple, which has 4000 staff in Australia, obstructed their attempts to speak to union members on site about wage negotiations, while also rejecting a request to extend the consultation deadline to August 19.

“We will be seeking good faith bargaining orders against Apple,” SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer told SmartMoney. “Staff were only given a copy of the draft enterprise agreement on August 3.”

In a statement, Apple told the publication it hasn’t set any deadlines.“We will continue to hold regular meetings to share and encourage feedback,” a spokesperson told SmartMoney. “Supporting and retaining the best team members enables us to deliver innovative products and services, and we are pleased to offer very strong compensation for our teams across the country, including annual stock grants.”

A special “all Apple worker” Zoom call is being hosted by RAFFWU (the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union) to discuss the possible unionization of Apple retail store employees in Australia.

It’s the third such call after the two hosted by the Australian Services Union (ASU) trade union. Here’s how the meeting — which will be held Thursday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m. AEST — is described: 

This meeting will take workers through how industrial action works, the steps needed to make action protected and lawful, how industrial action might influence Apple’s bargaining, and answer questions from workers. RAFFWU is the only bargaining representative involved in negotiations at Apple that has ever organised industrial action in retail workplaces. RAFFWU helped bookshop members secure the best Enterprise Agreement in retail in 2021 through the direct action of members – including 6 months parental leave, substantially higher wages, double time on Sunday, job security and much more.

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.