Union Organizers Plan Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple for Union-Busting Tactics

union organizers

Apple may soon face a class action lawsuit for its union-busting tactics. Union organizers allege that the company used illegal activities to persuade workers to abandon their plans to unionize.

Union Organizers Urge Apple Store Workers to Report Their Experience

In a post on Twitter, the unofficial global Apple Support network, Apple Together informed retail store workers that a class action lawsuit is in the works. The group is collaborating with the U.K. union United Tech & Allied Workers (UTAW) in gathering information on tactics used by Apple management.

Apple Together also published a survey form that employees can accomplish if they experienced illegal union-busting activities.  It said that once Apple retail store workers sent the form, a union organizer would contact them to discuss their reports.

If you think you have experience unlawful union busting at Apple fill out this form and an organizer will follow up with you. This could include a supervisor asking you about your support for unionization; supervisor telling you unionizing is futile or certain things cannot be changed; supervisors suddenly popping up in breakrooms or in side by sides, after union efforts have begun; downloads or sidebysides in which the supervisor talks about unionization but doesn’t get your permission first; and many other things.

Illegal Anti-Union Tactics that Apple Should Not Use

Aside from the following possible union-busting activities, Apple retail store workers may also refer to the U.S. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 8(a)(1) of the Act classifies employers interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of the right to join a union as an unfair labor practice. The NLRA also has a long list of tactics that merit a violation of U.S. labor law.

Some of these tactics include:

  • Promise employees benefit if they reject the union.
  • Imply a promise of benefits by soliciting grievances from employees during a union organizing campaign. (However, if you regularly solicited employee grievances before the campaign began, you may continue that practice unchanged.)
  • Confer benefits to employees during a union organizing campaign to induce employees to vote against the union.
  • Withhold changes in wages or benefits during a union organizing campaign that would have been made had the union not been on the scene unless you make clear to employees that the change will occur whether or not they select the union, and that your sole purpose in postponing the change is to avoid any appearance of trying to influence the outcome of the election.
  • Coercively question employees about their own or coworkers’ union activities or sympathies. (Whether questioning is coercive and therefore unlawful depends on the relevant circumstances, including who asks the questions, where, and how; what information is sought; whether the questioned employee is an open and active union supporter; and whether the questioning occurs in a context of other unfair labor practices.)
  • Prohibit employees from talking about the union during working time, if you permit them to talk about other non-work-related subjects.

Note that union organizers already accused Apple of employing some of these tactics. Apple faces two formal charges relating to its alleged anti-union busting strategies.

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