An Apple Store votes to become a union for the first time | MarketingwithAnoy

In a statement sent before the results were announced, Apple spokesman Josh Lipton wrote: “We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we appreciate everything they bring to Apple. We are delighted to be able to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including health care, reimbursement of education, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual share allowances and many other benefits. “

Members wrote one open letter to CEO Tim Cook, who announces their union, called the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees or CORE, and asked him not to run an anti-union campaign. It went unnoticed. The company retained the union avoidance firm Littler Mendelson, the same firm that Starbucks used. An almost daily parade of anti-union rhetoric followed, some at daily meetings, called “downloads,” and some in one-on-one side. Managers would take individuals out of the store for walk-and-talks, sometimes as often as every hour, DiMaria says. In late May, Apple sent one video to all its U.S. stores with Vice President of Retail Deirdre O’Brien. A union, she warned employees, “could limit our ability to make immediate, widespread changes to improve your experience.”

DiMaria says Apple implemented intimidation tactics to try to mislead workers into believing that if the union won, they could lose their benefits, that attendance policy would be stricter, and that they would not be able to meet with their leaders without the union. . He says they seemed to tailor their messages to individual employees, which an employee of the Atlanta store says also happened there.

Apple took a different approach than Atlanta in its planning of group meetings to discuss union. Previously, they were required, according to Atlanta store workers. In Towson, they were billed as volunteers, even though they automatically appeared on employee schedules and had to actively opt out of them. The change in tactics follows one note from National Labor Relations Board Advocate General Jennifer Abruzzo, who said the so-called captive audience meetings were illegal. In light of this guidance, the union representing the Atlanta store filed an unfair change of work practice with the NLRB.

Members of the suspended union effort in Atlanta have been in contact with Apple employees at other stores, including Towson, to advise them on what to expect from Apple and how they can fight back. “When a leader says something in a public forum, it’s not enough to say it’s not true,” said Atlanta staff member and organizing committee member Derrick Bowles. Workers must also go the further step of explaining why the statement is illogical.

Bowles says leaders tried to portray union organizers in Atlanta as aggressors, often throwing around expressions like “tension” and “bullying,” which he denied at meetings. He says other Apple workers who run union campaigns need to put those leaders in place. “Like, ‘You say we can lose benefits. Is it a threat? Is that something you would be willing to write about? ‘ You have to put the leadership on the defensive. If you’re on the defensive, you’ll lose. “

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