Workers at NYC Apple Store Accuse the Company of Union-Busting

Workers at NYC Apple Store Accuse the Company of Union-Busting
Workers at Apple's Grand Central retail store started the process of unionization last month. (Photo: ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA USA, AP)

In light of efforts by its workers to form unions at two stores, tech giant Apple is allegedly turning to corporate tactics to try and prevent the employee unionization from taking place. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed a complaint against Apple for violating federal labour laws by interrogating workers at the World Trade Centre store about union activity, preventing them from posting union flyers in shared spaces, and forcing the workers to attend anti-union presentations, according to Engadget.

This is the second time this week that Apple has been accused of union busting by the CWA, with workers from the Atlanta store filing similar complaints against the company on Tuesday.

In February, Apple employees across the country began quietly forming plans to unionize to demand better pay and benefits. Those plans began to solidify when workers at New York City’s flagship store began collecting signatures to vote on whether they want to unionize. Workers at an Atlanta Apple store soon followed suit when they filed for a union election in April.

But unionizing against a giant company that has already been accused of violating labour laws in China is a seemingly hefty task. According to the CWA complaint, Apple allegedly interrogated workers at the World Trade Centre store over their union activities, as well as monitored those activities, or made the employees think they were being monitored, in addition to prohibiting the store employees from hanging up flyers in work areas during their break. The company also allegedly put on “captive-audience” speeches for its employees to try and dissuade them from unionizing, Engadget reports.

The CWA had also filed a complaint against Apple on behalf of the workers at the Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta, accusing the company of allegedly holding mandatory captive-audience meetings with employees regarding the upcoming union elections in June.

“We welcome the workers who are organising at Apple and call on the company’s management to reject union busting tactics so that they can vote without interference or intimidation,” Ed Barlow, president of CWA Local 3204 in Atlanta, said in a statement.


Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.