Apple illegally interfered with union organizing effort in Atlanta, national labor board finds
Apple illegally interfered with union organizing efforts at an Atlanta store by holding mandatory meetings to discourage union membership, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found.
The NLRB also found merit behind allegations that the Apple store at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta interrogated workers about union support and activities, solicited grievances, and told workers that union membership would result in less favorable terms of employment.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a national communications and media union, initially filed a complaint against Apple Cumberland Mall in May. The CWA previously petitioned for a union election at the store but withdrew its request as a result of “Apple’s repeated violations.”
“Apple executives think the rules don’t apply to them,” Tom Smith, the CWA’s organizing director, said in a statement. “Holding an illegal forced captive audience meeting is not only union-busting, but an example of psychological warfare. We commend the NLRB for recognizing captive audience meetings for exactly what they are: a direct violation of labor rights.”
Captive audience meetings have previously not been viewed by the NLRB as violating national labor laws.
However, Jennifer Abruzzo, the NLRB’s general counsel, issued a memo in April urging the board to find that “mandatory meetings in which employees are forced to listen to employer speech concerning the exercise of their statutory labor rights” violate the National Labor Relations Act.