Apple is again facing accusations of crack down on union organizers. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming that Apple unlawfully intimidated and fired store workers in Houston and Kansas City, Missouri, in retaliation for their labor organizing efforts. The former Kansas City employees were apparently released for being slightly late, calling from work or even typing timesheets, but were also forced to sign a ‘release of all claims’ for get their severance pay. In other words, they couldn’t challenge Apple’s practices once they were gone.
In Houston, Apple reportedly questioned workers individually about their union support and offered better terms if they dropped their union support. Those who persisted in their pro-union activities were punished and threatened with worsening conditions, says the CWA.
Only two stores in the United States, Oklahoma City and Towson, Maryland, unionized in 2022. Overseas, a store in Glasgow became the third. Other employees, like those in St. Louis, Missouri, have filed for union elections. Staff in Atlanta canceled a vote last spring after accusing Apple of bullying tactics.
We’ve asked Apple for a comment. The company has historically opposed union organizing efforts and reportedly held mandatory anti-union meetings. Apple would also retained services unionized workers at the Towson store, while claiming that they had to reach a collective agreement. The company tried to prevent the movement of workers by raise wages, extend the benefits And relaxation hours.
Fights between tech giants and their rank-and-file workers are nothing new. Organization of work in technology peaked in 2022, with workers at companies like Activision Blizzard, Amazon and Microsoft unionizing or making their discontent known. These brands, meanwhile, have frequently tried to block attempts at unionization. The CWA’s accusations suggest those battles are continuing well into the new year.