In retaliation to organizing, the Communications Workers of America union alleges that Apple fired five employees in Kansas City and disciplined another one in Texas. The union also claims that Apple threatened employees with worse working conditions if it doesn’t support them.
A press release by the CWA quotes D’lite Xiong (one of the workers fired):
Another employee claims she was given notice for arriving late at work three times per month according The Washington Post and was then fired “after two additional attendance-related issues.” The union filed two unfair labor practice charges against the National Labor Relations Board — one for each store. Both can be found at the bottom.
Apple has been subject to unfair labor complaints in the past about its treatment of workers who attempt to organize. The National Labor Relations Board ruled the company tried to coerce employees at Atlanta. It also filed an accusation against Apple alleging that it discriminated against New York employees’ union efforts. Towson Town Centre, Apple’s first US unionized retail location, has also claimed that the company withheld details regarding new benefits it provided other workers. This made it more difficult for non-unionized employees to negotiate the same treatment.
Apple then tried to silence me by requiring me to sign a release to get my severance package. Apple employees should not be intimidated or interrogated for organizing and winning our fair share.
According to The Register, Apple workers at the Memorial City location in Houston were allegedly interrogated regarding their support for a union and offered better working conditions if the CWA was abandoned. Apple was also accused in an alleged threat to employees with “detrimental workplace circumstances” if they supported the group. Some were then allegedly disciplined as a retaliation.
CWA has filed many similar complaints against retail workers at Apple Stores in the Atlanta, New York and Oklahoma City areas.
“From Starbucks to Apple the union-busting strategy used by unimaginably rich corporations is always the exact same: isolate, intimidate. fire. and silence,” stated Claude Cummings Jr., Vice President of CWA district 6. It is evident that Apple’s top management does not respect workers’ legal rights to organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.
“Apple has chosen not to stop breaking the law. We will continue to hold them accountable, because no corporation is above law.” Apple’s attempts to interfere in worker organizing are only strengthening workers’ resolve to get a seat at negotiating tables.
Apple declined to comment.
Other unions, such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and Fruit Stand Workers United, have waged similar campaigns against Apple. Last year, the Coalition of Organized Retail Workers, a committee supported by IAMAW, representing an Apple Store located in Towson (Maryland), became the first to win union elections.