Apple Store Managers Being Trained On “Union Awareness”

This is a discussion on Apple Store Managers Being Trained On “Union Awareness” within the Apple Forums Member News Depot forums, part of the Apple News Room category; Apple has begun planning how to respond if its retail employees unionize, CNET has learned. In an internal document obtained by CNET, the company posted ...

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    Apple Store Managers Being Trained On “Union Awareness”

    Apple has begun planning how to respond if its retail employees unionize, CNET has learned.

    In an internal document obtained by CNET, the company posted information about a training course on the topic, which takes place tomorrow morning and is required to be taken by all new store managers.

    "This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do's and don'ts of dealing with unions," the training description reads. "This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers."
    The posting adds that the course "is a great opportunity to meet our legal team and ask any questions you may have."

    The move comes about six months after an employee-driven effort to unionize Apple's retail workers. That store-by-store effort, called the Apple Retail Workers Union, cited Apple for providing poor compensation to its part-time employees, as well as calling attention to alleged deficiencies in Apple's "break schedules, training opportunities," and "the selection and hiring process for internal candidates for open positions."

    An Apple representative declined to comment.

    A retail union holds the potential to drive up Apple's operating costs, if employees are able to successfully negotiate increases to pay and benefits. Having a union in the first place grants them the ability to set up those negotiations but does not guarantee that Apple would agree to any changes.
    "If a union represents the Apple retail employees, it just means that they sit down across the table, and if Apple is doing what they're doing now, which is being a tremendously successful retailer, there's very little a union's going to be able to do," union expert Jay Krupin told CNET in a story about the retail union efforts in June.
    Likewise, Apple has its own rights on the matter. The company can do campaigning of its own, letting employees know that it's against a union.

    Apple's retail empire turned 10 years old this past May, and it has become a critical part of the company's success in recent years. In Apple's fiscal 2011, which wrapped up in September, Apple posted net sales of $14.12 billion from its stores, a 44 percent increase from the year before.
    The stores have been ranked in the top 50 best places to work by job tracker three years running, along with earning other accolades. Apple has even admitted that it's easier to get a job at its corporate headquarters than at one of its retail stores, of which there are now more than 350 around the globe.



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