Apple taps anti-union legal team in tackling unionization fight

Apple taps anti-union legal team in tackling unionization fight

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There were multiple stories in the news last week regarding Apple Store employees’ plans to unionize. While Apple has yet to make a public statement about the unionization plans, it’s already working with anti-union lawyers to stop these efforts.

Recent instances of union talks 

Apple Store employees at the Grand Central store in New York City have started the process of unionizing. These employees seek to improve the quality of working conditions, earn more vacation time and better retirement, and secure a $30-per-hour minimum wage. Days later, news broke that employees at an Apple Store in Atlanta will be the first in the country to file a union election. Employees there ask for similar benefits as the New York City store. 

Littler Mendelson also represents Starbucks

The Verge reports that Apple is working with San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson law firm to de-escalate the union fights. Littler Mendelson is also representing Starbucks in an effort to stop its partners from organizing a union. The firm previously helped McDonald’s in 2014 when workers were calling for $15 an hour wages. 

By retaining the notorious union busting firm Littler Mendelson, Apple’s management is showing that they intend to try to prevent their employees from exercising their right to join a union by running the same playbook as other large corporations,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “The workers at Starbucks, another Littler client, aren’t falling for it and neither will the workers at Apple.

An anonymous Apple Store employee in New York told The Verge that the company has been spreading anti-union messaging during meetings. “There’s a lot of misinformation that’s been spread trying to scare the masses,” the employee said. “I think they’re panicking.”

Apple declined to comment to The Verge regarding hiring Littler Mendelson for its anti-unionization efforts.

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