Apple VP tries to convince employees not to union in leaked video
Apple’s vice president of people and retail Deirdre O’Brien tried to dissuade company employees from joining a union in a letter leaked to Apple. In the video – which has been sent to all Apple companies in the US – O’Brien tells workers that the union will slow down the company’s efforts to address workers’ concerns.
“We have a relationship based on open, collaborative and direct engagement, which I feel could change drastically if the store is represented by a union under a collective bargaining agreement. To put another organization in the middle of our relationship that doesn’t have a deep understanding of Apple or our business,” she said in the video. And I don’t think she shares our commitment to you.”
Union efforts are currently underway at a number of Apple retail stores in the United States after months of worker-led protests over low wages and long working hours, including at retail stores in Tucson, Maryland, Atlanta and New York. A number of retail workers recently accused the company of union-busting. Earlier this month, Communications Workers of America — the union seeking to represent workers at the Atlanta site — submitted a memo to the NLRB, accusing the company of holding mandatory “captive public” meetings with bargaining unit employees.
O’Brien emphasized that the union would block Apple’s efforts to respond quickly to workers’ concerns. “Apple is moving incredibly fast,” she said in the video. “It’s something I love about our retail business. It means we need to be able to move quickly as well. And I’m concerned that as the union will set its own legal rules that will define how we work through cases, it may make it difficult for us Act quickly to address the issues you raise.”
The tech giant will in February expand its benefits for US retail employees, including offering paid parental leave and more sick leave. As well as for a number of retail employees. But critics say the company took these steps in the midst, after years of media coverage and complaints from Apple retail workers about low wages and a grueling work environment.
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