Apple has been criticized in the past for its anti-union stance and its treatment of retail employees. The company has been accused of low wages, poor working conditions, and anti-union practices. In recent years, there have been efforts by employees to unionize, including the unionization of the Towson, Maryland store last year. It remains to be seen how Apple’s recent meetings will impact unionization efforts moving forward.
It seems that Apple has not yet responded to Engadget’s request for comment regarding the meetings held at its retail stores to discuss the risks of unionization. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents workers at Apple’s unionized store in Maryland, has stated that it will release a statement on Monday. Some employees reportedly viewed the meetings as a scare tactic aimed at discouraging them from pursuing unionization.The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that protects the rights of private sector employees to engage in collective bargaining and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or mutual aid or protection. In April 2022, Jennifer Abruzzo, who was then the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a memorandum that stated that captive audience meetings, which are meetings held by employers with employees to discuss unionization, were a violation of the NLRA. The memorandum stated that such meetings were coercive and interfered with employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity.