From Lauren Kaori Gurley’s “Leaked audio: Apple VP Gives Apple Store Workers Anti-Union Speech” posted Wednesday on Vice’s Motherboard:
“We have a relationship that’s based on an open and collaborative and direct engagement, which I feel could fundamentally change if a store is represented by a union under a collective bargaining agreement,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president of retail and people, in a six-minute video circulated yesterday among Apple’s 58,000 retail employees in the United States and obtained by Motherboard…
O’Brien, sitting in a wood-paneled room with a potted orchid and framed photos of Apple’s corporate campus, goes on to use other standard anti-union talking points favored by employers looking to crush unionization efforts among their workers. “I’m worried about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship, an organization that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business,” O’Brien continued. “And most importantly, one that I do not believe shares our commitment to you.”..,
In the video, O’Brien also suggests that a union would make it more difficult for Apple to work on improving conditions for its retail workers. “Apple moves incredibly fast,” she says. “And I worry that, because the union would bring its own legally mandated rules that would determine how we work through issues, it could make it harder for us to act swiftly to address things that you raise.”
“It turned my stomach,” an Apple retail worker and union organizer who viewed the video and requested to remain anonymous, said. “As someone who genuinely likes my company, but is working to organize my store to hold it to its values, I’m disappointed not only in what was said in the video, but also in how convincing it will be to some people that are on the fence.”
Cue the audio:
My take: This will be a test of what kind of good will O’Brien has managed to build within Apple’s retail staff.