Apple's anti-union offensive runs afoul of the N.L.R.B.

The union accused Apple of interrogating and surveilling staff, requiring workers to attend anti-union speeches and restricting placement of union fliers.

From Tripp Mickle's "N.L.R.B. Issues Complaint Against Apple" posted Tuesday by the New York Times:

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against Apple over accusations that it interrogated its retail workers about their union support and prevented pro-labor fliers in a store break room.

The Communications Workers of America told the N.L.R.B. in May that Apple had violated several labor laws in an attempt to stymie labor organizers at its World Trade Center store in New York. The union accused Apple of interrogating and surveilling staff, requiring workers to attend anti-union speeches and restricting placement of union fliers.

The agency found merit in two of those claims.

Sara Steffens, the secretary-treasurer for the Communications Workers of America, praised the N.L.R.B. on Tuesday for holding Apple accountable. “Apple has a choice,” she said in a statement. “Does it want to be known for intimidating its workers and creating a culture of fear, or does it want to live up to its stated values and welcome true collaboration with all of its employees?”

An Apple spokesman said the company disagreed with the union’s claims and looked “forward to presenting the facts.” He added that the company valued the work of its retail staff.

My take: There are rules about this kind of thing, which some companies discover only when the labor board comes calling. Apple, however, can afford good legal advice and probably knew exactly what it was doing.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Check GlassDoor.

    WIth 154,000 employees, there will always be some with complaints. We have seen so many of these OMG Apple stories fizzle over time. This will fizzle too.

    October 4, 2022
  2. Michael Goldfeder said:
    This story reminds me of the constant ongoing process of painting the Golden State Bridge. Once you complete the task, it’s time to start all over again. This story is about 6 months old. Yet all of a sudden it comes back around as if it’s brand new. Nothing here but more baseless Apple hate by an organization that has an ax to grind in order to continue being somewhat relevant.

    October 4, 2022
  3. Robert Stack said:
    @Michael: “continue being somewhat relevant”. Good to see you coming around to my perspective on the NYT. 😉 Yes, their tech coverage is terrible (ever since Pogue left). And their editorials sometimes are way off base too. But there is still a lot of great reporting to be found there. And on another positive note (potentially), Shira Ovide, the On-Tech columnist who was so bad I had to stop reading her, has left. Maybe they’ll get someone better – hope springs eternal, right? I’d be even more hopeful if Brian Chen would say adios too…

    October 5, 2022
    • Michael Goldfeder said:
      I’m waiting for the day the NYT becomes part of the Apple newsstand format. The champagne is chilling in the refrigerator.

      October 5, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      Robert: What? You want to X Brian?

      October 5, 2022
      • Robert Stack said:
        @Steven: My hope would be that he’d make like Shira Ovide, and move on to “other challenges.” Or perhaps he’d like to “spend more time with his family…”

        October 5, 2022

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