Labor groups and investors have filed a shareholder proposal asking Apple Inc to review how it treats workers’ rights, looking to build on recent momentum to unionize workers at the tech giant’s retail stores, reports Reuters.
The proposal filed by a group including SOC Investment Group, a consultant to union pension funds, and an arm of the Service Employees International Union, accuses Apple of an “apparent misalignment” between its public commitments to things like freedom of association and accusations it has tried to unfairly deter union organizing.
“If a corporation’s values and their behavior diverge, that’s a problem,” Dieter Waizenegger, SOC executive director, told Reuters.
According to MacRumors, in mid-August Apple retail employees nationwide were invited to an FAQ-style meeting where store management attempted to answer questions on unionization and create an open environment to discuss unions. The goal, not surprisingly, was to discourage unionization.
The article says the FAQ-style meeting was designed to answer questions preselected by Apple, including:
- What is a union and why does it matter at Apple Towson?
- Did everyone at Towson get a raise?
- Can you opt out of a union?
In the U.S., the Cumberland Mall store near Atlanta, Georgia became the first to file unionization paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year. In May, a group of Apple employees at the Towson Mall in Towson, Maryland launched a union drive. A fourth group of Apple retail store workers — this time at the Oxmoore Center Mall in Louisville, Kentucky — reportedly plan to form a union. And workers at the flagship Grand Central Terminal store in New York City have been gathering signatures.