back to article Apple sued for allegedly firing, threatening union organizers

Apple has been accused of unlawfully firing and threatening pro-union retail store workers in two complaints filed by the Communications Workers of America with the National Labor Relations Board.  The CWA is helping staff working across multiple Apple Stores organize unions. On Monday, it filed two Unfair Labor Practice (ULP …

  1. ChoHag Silver badge

    If your employees come up to you and say "we'd like to form a union", your first and only thought should be "My god! How did we fuck up this badly?" not ... this.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      I believe they are perfectly aware of how they have fucked over their employees, and the shenanigans to stop them organising are just to allow them to keep on doing so for as long as they can.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      First point, yes. Only point, no.

      Your second thought should be "how do we engage with the union and employees to find a mutually satisfactory solution?". Your third thought should be "what will be the best way to work together?".

      Trade unions are no different from management. Some are reasonable and pragmatic, some are worse than useless, some are downright bad, others are utterly evil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That’s why in many jurisdictions, it is backed up with the law to protect the rights of both employers and employees.

        In these cases Apple/Starbucks/Amazon etc are breaching that.

        Shout out to Amazon BHX4 (Coventry) on workers managing to be able to get to be able to strike at the warehouse multiple times. Legally.

    3. Joe W Silver badge

      Sure, I do share the gist of that sentiment, but my guess is that once you reach a certain size you no longer have control. My wive's boss had his company grow in recent years. A lot. So far there is only one management level between him and the employees. His management team is close enough to him and still, let's say, "actually working", so they are not only managing. They are not unionised, because they don't really want to (or need to - yet?).

      If you insert another level of management in between, there is no longer a connection between the top boss and the people doing the actual work. Identification with the company will decrease, pressure / cost cutting / squeezing money will increase. Then you might want to unionise.

    4. pimppetgaeghsr Bronze badge

      Fucking over their employees is part of the culture, and it's a bit more cult than culture in that respect.

    5. TVU Silver badge

      The unfortunate irony there is that Apple has now become the totalitarian monster that was portrayed in the original Apple Macintosh commercial way back in 1984:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

  2. NATTtrash
    Thumb Up

    ...Fruit Stand Workers United...

    Wicked sense of humour describing what's in the tin extremely accurately...

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Land of the free

    Union organising, not so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free

      Depends if they are doing it in their spare time or on the clock.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Land of the free

        Hmm.. looks like I hit a nerve with that comment.

        If they are meeting after hours and not impacting their day job then really its naff all to do with the employer.

        But this is more likely the people involved describe themselves as 'activists' and spent the entire day harping on about whatever they are activisting for/against and do little else.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free

      Sorry, you had a typo there.

      It's the land of the fee. Free, not so much.

  4. Paul Herber Silver badge
    Trollface

    Perhaps El Reg could ask Apple for their opinion on this matter.

    .... <heat death of universe (with or without rounded corners)>

    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

      “ Apple declined to comment.”

      Looks like they did. Tho it doesn’t say whether the declining was active or passive.

  5. xyz123 Bronze badge

    Still better than Apple's murdering of "troublemakers" in China, then pretending the dozens of deaths were suicide.

  6. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    forcing [...] workers to sign a "release of all claims" in exchange for a severance package

    No matter how many times I read news like this, it is absolutely unfathomable that such situations can happen in a supposedly "first world" country.

    Probably no one has made more damage to the US in the last century than senator McCarthy. 60 years after he died, Americans can't still comprehend that protecting workers' rights is not automatically filthy heathen communism; and root for the robbing barons that bleed them dry because they uphold "American values".

    1. fxkeh

      What is especially wrong about the implied link between unions and communism is how actively hostile communist countries are to any kind of organised union activity among the workforce.

    2. skeptical i
      Thumb Down

      re: a supposedly "first world" country

      It's actually a "me-first world" country, with corporations getting a capital 'M' on that.

    3. NeilPost Silver badge

      Was it ever really about Communism ??

    4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      I knew someone who won world student debating championships, and often cam up against Americans in competitions. He said they were easy to defeat, because all he had to do was make them think, or even suspect, that they were defending communism and they lose the thread of their argument and fall over.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrible company

    Apple Stores are terrible sweat shops. Workers are routinely abused. The workplace is inherently dangerous and unsafe. This is the only job they can get. Apple pays them so poorly they are unable to leave the company and get a different job at the shopping mall.

    Seriously... This is a retail job in a shopping mall. This isn't a coal mine in Pennsylvania and the only employer in town. If the Apple store sucked that bad, the employees would have walked out the door already. It is a stepping stone and an entry into the tech sector. It isn't a career.

  8. aerogems Silver badge
    Holmes

    Maybe Apple needs to think different about who is heading up their retail division. For the NLRB to actually file, or join, a lawsuit, there has to be some pretty damn compelling evidence. That means multiple people within Apple's ranks have been intentionally violating the law, which would be against pretty much any ethics code at any company except maybe those Windows Support phone scammers. Any time an employee intentionally does something illegal, and worse gets caught, that should be ample reason to get rid of them. Even if this were in a country with stronger labor laws where could only fire someone for cause, intentionally violating the law seems like a pretty solid reason to me.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Certainly more cause than correcting a time sheet error.

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