Small group of Apple Store employees talk of unionizing on 10th retail anniversary

“On the day of Apple’s 10th Retail Store anniversary, not everyone’s celebrating: in fact, a small but vocal group of Apple Store employees is working hard even now to unionize in response to what they term unfair treatment and compensation,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac.

MacDailyNews Note: Interestingly, in today’s USA Today, Scott Martin reports that Apple Store employees “are better compensated than elsewhere.” Read more in the full article here.

Brownlee continues, “The group is called the Apple Retail Union, whose announcement includes this modus operandi: ‘We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we work in one of the most demanding retail environments while suffering through unfair treatment and compensation among many other various issues… We deserve better. Our time has come.'”

“Whether or not the Apple Retail Union’s time has actually come or not — we imagine Steve Jobs would have something to say about that — it does seem as if there might be growing talk about unionizing,” Brownlee reports.

Full article here.

107 Comments

  1. ” ‘We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we work in one of the most demanding retail environments ”

    Left out the word ‘chose to’…

    We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we CHOSE TO work in one of the most demanding retail environments

    ” while suffering through unfair treatment and compensation among many other various issues… We deserve better. Our time has come.’”

    Left out the word ‘to quit’.

    Our time has come TO QUIT.

    Your problems will all be solved… less stress from a demanding retail environment and no longer mistreated…

    1. If it’s so bad, yeah, quit. The pay might not be as good at the Microsoft Store, but at least there aren’t so many pesky customer wanting to buy things

  2. Dear Apple Retail Union, if you believe the job to be too demanding or don’t think the pay is adequate, quit. But don’t drag our company, our shares, and it’s reputation down the drain.

    If you think the pay or environment is challenging now, wait till a union digs in. Unions have one goal, maximize revenue on the backs of new members and their deminishing labor force.

    I promise to be vocal, present, and persistent in my opposition to your self-entitled, self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous concept.

  3. While I understand their plight knowing full well the BS that goes on behind the doors of Apple Stores everywhere, unionizing for this is… stupid. Retail is a job that is intensive, and that has high rollover.
    Apple does provide great compensation, but sometime their treatment of retail employees, at least from managers is unfair.
    Example?

    I worked at Apple, made a certain hourly wage. Lo and Behold, iPhone releases, now I have to do my normal job, plus sell and promote AT&T contacts.
    AT&T employees get paid more hrly, and get a commission.
    I got no pay raise.
    Do you think thats fair that they raised my responsibilities and knew many people who were paid more for a same job with less? I left because of it. But I left. I didnt unionize. Sure, I was pissed, Apple should have compensated me better.
    But I could leave, and i did.

    1. I don’t know about AT&T but I worked at Apple store and Sprint and Apple pays much more. There is no commission though but even if you add commission, Apple stile pays more.

    2. You’re complaining because Apple added another item (AT&T contracts) to their store? It’s retail!!! Stock changes, new promotions, etc. Same job, same responsibilities! Sheesh, now stop whining like a spoiled child, get out there, and push the damn phone contracts instead of printers this week!

      Whats a union going to do for you? Better still in the last 30 years, what positive changes for employees, has any US workers’ union made for their workers? You will only lose money from your own pay to support a union to sit around and watch you work. If you want false hope, try religion. If you want a better job and higher pay, work harder and get a promotion.

      1. You should familiarize yourself with the Boeing Engineers strike in 2000. Boeing, unfortunately inherited a Jack Welsh wannabe when it was taken over by McDonnel Douglas. During the 40 day strike, no airplanes were delivered. That CS managed to destroy 50+ years of the Company and the Engineers Union working successfully to resolve issues of compensation and work environment to the benefit of both parties. Most of the time the main benefit of a union is protection of the workers from idiot first and second level management. It takes a strike to protect them from idiot executive VPs.

        That said, retail is retail. The hours suck, you are on your feet all the time, the customer has to be tolerated, right or wrong. Your replacement can be trained in a matter of days or weeks. You can learn the job or your next one in the same time. It’s not a career and trying to unionize to constrain the behavior of the store manager isn’t worth the time and effort.

        Work at the store, grab all the benefits (like employee discounts) you can and finish your degree so you can move on to something worthy of a Mac user.

    3. No it is NOT unfair at all. “Other duties as assigned”

      It is naive to think you are going to work a job and it is going to stay the same. Things evolve, things change.

      Adapt and overcome..

  4. Retail sucks, if you don’t like it, find another job that doesn’t suck. You won’t be happier being part of a union. You will just think you have some power that you don’t and pay union dues for the privilege. You are not suffering, you’re just young, stupid, and lazy,

  5. They have the right to attempt to form a union. If their grievances are valid and sufficiently substantial to motivate other Apple retail store employees, then they may have a shot. So far, however, I have not seen evidence of the type of grassroots support required for them to be successful.

    It seems pretty cavalier of others posting on this forum to say “just quit.” There is nothing wrong with battling for what you believe in and trying to make things better rather than just moving on. That is (was?) the foundation of this country. Besides, this is not exactly the type of economic environment in which many people would choose to quit a job unless they had no other options.

    It is easy to stand on principles when you don’t have any skin in the game.

    1. I wholly agree with this
      While I quit, it was my choice, and I could
      Retail is not “unionizable” in most places because they cant get the support, but if they could actually make a difference, I’d love it.
      I think as it is, since the turbulent economy, inflation, and the increase in requirements of their employees, Apple should take a step in and change things. As it is, its seemingly stagnant.

      1. Unions were initially formed to protect the workers. But sooner or later some union leaders became arrogant, power-crazy and lazy. They want more, more, more for less, less, less work. They not only inconvenienced the public but they also destroy the country and the workers that they were supposed to represent. There is nothing wrong with responsible unionization but unbridled ambitions of union leaders are a curse to the workers’ cause.

        1. Your bigoted opinion is for sh*t. Stereotype much? One bad apple and they are all bad? Stop listening to Faux news and buying into this current round of corporate propaganda. There is a concerted effort in government right now to bust unions and stir up a national debate on it. Their lobbying corporate cronies are behind it. Stop taking lies as truth and educate yourself.

    2. They have little chance of creating a new union, so they will have to try to get chartered under an existing union. I’ve been through a union fight at a restaurant I managed (part of a chain) many years ago. Like Apple, it was a small, but vocal group. Unions know how to recruit, and Apple is a plum with their growing retail outlets. They paint a pretty rosey picture. Attorney’s specializing in combating unionizing attempts were flown out from corporate to teach me how to nip the action in the bud, which eventually happened. All it really took was an education of what the reality of unionizing really meant to the employees to have them realize that it was not in their best interests. Still, it was an ugly affair, and you can bet that Apple will take steps to stop this before it spreads.

      1. “an education of what the reality of unionizing really meant to the employees”

        AKA a propaganda campaign put on by the far more powerful of two parties in a dispute, to support that side’s opinions and best interests without regard to facts or the interests of the other side. Sort of like Exxon advertisements about all the wonderful benefits of tar sands and deep water oil drilling, they are also just “educating” us about the “reality” of what their energy technologies “mean to the consumer.”

        Gag me with a motherfucking spoon. Do you really believe what you’re saying?

    3. It’s easy to say just quit when you are living rent free in Mom’s basement driving a car bought by said mom.
      In Germany union members sit on the boards of many of the companies they represent the workers of & have for years. Last I checked, the German economy is in pretty damn good shape & their companies kick a fair amount of ass.
      Bought a VW recently and the salesman was bragging about their new Tennessee plant & I told him I didn’t want a German car made by non-union Teabaggers. Bought a nice Golf- made in Wolfsburg by the folks in IG Metal. Solid as a Benz.

      1. If you’re unable (or, more likely, unwilling) to see how you’re damaging the economy that you’re living in (and since you’ve resorted to the childish method of “name calling” to anyone who disagrees with you, I suspect the latter), then there’s no point in engaging you in rational conversation.

        You’re an irrational hater of everyone who doesn’t “sit down, shut up and do as you’re ordered”.

        In other words? A perfect representation of the so called “progressive” movement in America today.

        1. How is buying a better car made by workers earning a living wage destructive? The fact is that it is not.
          The southern states with their “right to work” ( translation:right to be a scab ) laws have undermined America’s economy with race to the bottom wages and shitty benefits.
          It’s amazing how the south has been a perpetual drag on our nation- politically, economically, educationally and culturally.

    4. King Smell,

      You represent everything that is wrong with the US you freaking commie. Please do us all a favor and move to Russia. The dirt balls trying to form a union are lucky to have any work at all in this Maobama Non Economy. You liberal idiots are destroying the US. We will not let it happen. F OFF.

    1. What about the 5 day work week? Or 8 Hour work day? You like vacation days? Sick days? Overtime?

      I know you loved it when there was only unsafe working conditions.

      Unions have done alot in the past and some still do. But unfortunately most unions now are no longer fighting for the worker just their own greed.

      1. Jeremy you ahole, There are enough labor laws now to prevent the unsafe situation you mention. If you don’t like the deal for the work don’t work there. Move, find another job, invent something. Be an American, not a f*Cking Communist. We’re voting you assholes out next time around. We’ll use every scummy tactic you use right back against you. We hate you liberal scum.

    2. I work in a union position and yes, lazy, self-serving does come to mind when I see some of the people I work with. Funny thing is that I don’t have a choice, I have to be in the union to have the job. I think unions do protect my rights as a worker but it over protects the lazy people as well.

      Laziness should be the right of a union worker…a right to get fired!

    3. And how many union firms have you managed? Or had first person dealings with?
      Wal-Mart is one of the mist union hostile companies in existence and they have lazy, slow employees. And dirty, poorly stocked stores full if overpriced Chinese shit.
      Tell me why Wal-Mart thinks it better to bring oranges from China instead of Florida, Texas, Arizona or California. Would it be those union illegals picking fruit for a less than minimum wage?

      1. UPS is one of the most heavily unionized companies in the
        USA, and also one of the best performing at every level. Their employees and customer service are consistently amazing when compared against FEDEX (which is non-union). So, whether a union leads to laziness, or pride and excellence in one’s job, might depend on the particular culture of both the union and the company.

        1. Try again Fredo. UPS is much slower than FedEx and UPS is harder to find any open offices on weekends.

          The truth is after the 1920s unions harm everyone (employees, management, investors, and customers) and help only greedy lazy union thug bosses.

          The modern union mentality has had nothing but a deleterious effect on America.

          1. I can speak to the UPS/FEdex performance in my area..
            Fedex SUCKS… but, are generally a day faster than UPS.
            UPS is consistent.
            UPS wont deliver on saturday, Fedex wont on Monday if it’s a ground package. half the time you order something online that ships fedex, you dont get a choice, like apple… cant ship with anyone other than Fedex. and again like apple… you cant choose anything other than ground sometimes. (my iPads i couldnt, my iMac i could.)

            I do know that in order to be management at UPS, you MUST be a delivery driver for minimum of a year. I do like that approach. it makes sure that they will not get a manager that has absolutely no clue how a driver operates.

            My local Fedex i hate to deal with.
            my iMac got to town a day ahead of schedule, but Fedex REFUSED to deliver it… cause it had the next days date on it as guaranteed.
            my UPS driver… i have watched him drive past my house, and not deliver a package. and i check later and the package was “attempted” BS… i was home all day and watched him drive past, he never tried. UPS said the notice the driver left “must have blown away”

            Speaking of delivery though.. USPS constantly delivers my stuff a day ahead of schedule. I ordered Enki’s new smartcover, took forever to actually ship.. but it arrived 2 days early.

            all this is just observation in my area though, other areas will have different results.
            generally i dont care if i have to deal with a unionized company or not, but sometimes.. it just frustrates you.

      1. I’m sure they’re hoping for that. In that case, Apple would be up for several Federal labor law violations, and civilly liable for lots and lots of damages to these then-former employees, not to mention back pay.

        Organizing (in the labor sense) has been a “right” since the early 20th century. It’s really too bad that the unions themselves have been in the main taken over by scum-sucking slime* but that’s the breaks.

        *My apologies for the unfair comparison. Scum-sucking slime actually serves a valuable purpose, unlike union leadership.

        1. It should be banned and outlawed to save the US. Union scum bags of all types are destroying the US and steeling from all of us. We hate unions!!!!!!!! Motherf*!#ckers.

      1. The attributions were meant as a joke son… Now, a pop quiz: Which Marx said this?:

        “I wouldn’t join any organization that would have me as a member.”

        Seems pertinent to this topic.

  6. I think we’re talking about a handful of marginal employees who think that if they start talking about unionizing, Apple will be afraid to can them.

    -jcr

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