The US National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against the tech giant accusing it of “discriminating and illegally interrogating” pro-union employees at the New York City store.
Apple is facing unionization efforts at retail stores across the United States. Although the company has been using various tactics to discourage staff from voting in favor of a union, they appear to be falling flat.
In June, Apple Store in Towson, Maryland become the first unionized location in the US, and retail employees at stores in New York, and Atlanta are also organizing for unionization, and staffers in Oklahoma City are going to take a vote next week to seek better pay, working conditions, and other benefits.
Apple denies NLRB allegation of using union-busting tactics at the New York City store
Bloomberg reports that the agency has alleged that the tech giant suppressed union organization efforts at the New York City store by not permitting pro-union staffers to post flyers in the break room but allowing nonunion “solicitations and distributions”. Furthermore, the company is also accused of discriminating against pro-union employees.
In a filing, the agency accused Apple of “prohibiting the placement of union flyers on the break room table while permitting nonunion solicitations and distributions,” NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado said in an email Tuesday.
The complaint said the company discriminated against workers by only enforcing its “no solicitation” policy against staff who supported a union, according to the NLRB. The filing also said Apple interrogated employees about their workplace activism.
However, the tech giant has denied any wrongdoing and said that its retail team provides an open experience to all.
“We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We regularly communicate with our teams and always want to ensure everyone’s experience at Apple is the best it can be.”
CWA secretary-treasurer, Sara Steffens said that it was time for the company’s senior management to respect its retail employees and to put an end to unlawful practices to suppress unionization efforts.
“Apple has a choice — 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 — including retail workers.”
CWA has already filled a complaint against the tech company for violating the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by hosting captive audience meetings for the employees at the Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta. The controversial tactic requires workers to attend meetings with anti-union agendas.
The report also explains that the tech giant might not face any punitive action because NLRB does not possess the authority to impose them.
Complaints issued by labor board prosecutors are considered by administrative law judges, whose rulings can be appealed to NLRB members in Washington and from there to federal court. The agency can order companies to change policies that conflict with the law, but it lacks authority to issue punitive damages for violations.