Apple Store employee publicizes effort to unionize store employees

A handful of Apple Store employees are trying something that is rarely heard of amongst Silicon Valley giants: forming a workers' union to represent Apple Store employees. Are working conditions at Apple Stores unsatisfactory to the point where employees must band together to demand better working conditions? Are there a few employees such as those red-shirted fellows depicted above that aren't just as ecstatic as prospective Apple customers on Apple Store openings?

If you ask the Apple Retail Workers Union, they seem to think so. The group was formed around the 10th anniversary of Apple Stores and was first spotted by MacWorld on May 19. The Apple Retail Workers Union sent a simple message to Apple-centric media on that day, with the following statement:

We are launching today to get fellow employees, shoppers, and the world know that we work in one of the most demanding retail environments while suffering through unfair treatment and compensation among many other various issues... We deserve better. Our time has come.

According to an anonymous member of the group, some Apple Store employees in the Bay Area were discussing such action, and an attempt of getting collective action was attempted at the Alderwood Apple Store in Lynnwood, WA.

One of those Bay Area Apple Store employees was interviewed by Reuters on Sunday. Cory Moll, a part-time employee at a San Francisco Apple Store, went public with the group in an effort to boost awareness amongst the public and employees - at the moment, there is barely any public interest.

Although Moll admits the movement is still in its infancy - as demonstrated by their site - and that the challenge of taking on Jobs and Co. is a risky prospect, their current objective is raising awareness amongst Apple customers and employees. Hence the simple message on their site:

"At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people." Our Time Has Come.

Image Credit: Apple Store, Carrousel du Louvre

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52 Comments

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There is nothing special about an Apple store employee. Easily replaced. For every filled position there are 100 people ready to replace him/her.

I have a friend who is a long time Apple store employee (5+years) and they work no harder than any other busy retail outlet. My friend complains about everything and he describes these guys as a bunch of whiners, so 'nuff said.

Good for them. I'm glad to see in this day and age there are still people who aren't intimidated by big corporations, and aren't afraid to fight for good wages and workers' rights.

And if a consequence of unionizing is that some Apple stores close, then they'll be doing America a favor anyway.

xpxp2002 said,
Good for them. I'm glad to see in this day and age there are still people who aren't intimidated by big corporations, and aren't afraid to fight for good wages and workers' rights.

And if a consequence of unionizing is that some Apple stores close, then they'll be doing America a favor anyway.

Yeah right...look some info up. Minimum wage in SF - $9:92/hour or something like that, this guy - $14/hour. Wow, he is only making $4/hour over minimum wage...

Wonder what the average Best Buy worker gets? According to the sites I found between $11 and $13, unless they are geek squad and doing the home install thing, then it is averaging $16.50. Seems pretty comparable to me.

Must be hell working in jeans and a t-shirt, selling stuff all day, all that back breaking manual labor... but yeah fire up a Union so they can get a bunch of people who don't want to work, who then cannot be fired.

Sorry been there, don't ever want it again. That always does wonders for the consumer, the worker, and the company.

schubb2003 said,

Yeah right...look some info up. Minimum wage in SF - $9:92/hour or something like that, this guy - $14/hour. Wow, he is only making $4/hour over minimum wage...

Wonder what the average Best Buy worker gets? According to the sites I found between $11 and $13, unless they are geek squad and doing the home install thing, then it is averaging $16.50. Seems pretty comparable to me.

Must be hell working in jeans and a t-shirt, selling stuff all day, all that back breaking manual labor... but yeah fire up a Union so they can get a bunch of people who don't want to work, who then cannot be fired.

Sorry been there, don't ever want it again. That always does wonders for the consumer, the worker, and the company.

+14

schubb2003 said,

Yeah right...look some info up. Minimum wage in SF - $9:92/hour or something like that, this guy - $14/hour. Wow, he is only making $4/hour over minimum wage...

Wonder what the average Best Buy worker gets? According to the sites I found between $11 and $13, unless they are geek squad and doing the home install thing, then it is averaging $16.50. Seems pretty comparable to me.

Must be hell working in jeans and a t-shirt, selling stuff all day, all that back breaking manual labor... but yeah fire up a Union so they can get a bunch of people who don't want to work, who then cannot be fired.

Sorry been there, don't ever want it again. That always does wonders for the consumer, the worker, and the company.

Amen! +1

making them run around together like douche bags, or having them all stand in a line clapping....they deserve anything they may want. that **** is embarrassing

jeycie said,
making them run around together like douche bags, or having them all stand in a line clapping....they deserve anything they may want. that **** is embarrassing

Wal-Mart and other business have these spririt boosting chant sessions as well.

These people need to give it up. If they win and get a union, their store will get closed, or worse, Apple may up the prices of their products to keep that profit margin as high as it is, with the increased benefits the union will undoubtedly negotiate.

dotf said,

Wal-Mart and other business have these spririt boosting chant sessions as well.
Chant sessions? Also known as a cult? Suddenly images of an upside down Walmart smiley face tied to a 5-point star with guys in hooded black robes standing around their sacrifice come to mind.

Unions are great ideas, however in the end as some of you said already turn up bad and does not help the emploees. I can see how working at Apple verses best buy would seem a lot more stressful. However, ALL retail jobs are.. Thats how they make money, push push push push push push SALLLE! I could see Apple making it look like it is a fun safe place to work a lot like foxconn, put on these huge shows for the media then a month later 2 emploees kill themselves because they have made all iPhones anyone would have ever thought was possbile.

Red shirted people are "Expendable." As geeks they should have learned the outcome of their jobs by watching Star Trek. Reds as always the first to go.

PsyOpWarlord said,
Red shirted people are "Expendable." As geeks they should have learned the outcome of their jobs by watching Star Trek. Reds as always the first to go.

+1

I don't get it I thought everyone in the UK anyway has the legal right to be represented by a union is this not the case in the US then?

Sylar2010 said,
I don't get it I thought everyone in the UK anyway has the legal right to be represented by a union is this not the case in the US then?

Yes and No... but actually more extreme then you think it is. Unions are so powerful in a lot of situations that they can force membership...and force you to pay dues. In some states (and this is also a pressing national issue) it is illegal to have secret ballets, so if someone votes AGAINST unionizing? Their name's out there to strongarm.

You'd think given just how much cash Apple are pulling in they could improve salary or shorten hours and hire more staff for their stores.. sheesh..

Chicane-UK said,
You'd think given just how much cash Apple are pulling in they could improve salary or shorten hours and hire more staff for their stores.. sheesh..

But then they could not afford to build the spaceship to carry Jobs home with all his sheeples so that he can feed the people of his planet

Teebor said,

But then they could not afford to build the spaceship to carry Jobs home with all his sheeples so that he can feed the people of his planet

Blisstonia?

Teebor said,

But then they could not afford to build the spaceship to carry Jobs home with all his sheeples so that he can feed the people of his planet

Wow you wanna know some sweet irony. Those that call apple users/fans sheep and in fact sheep themselves.

DJ Dark said,

Wow you wanna know some sweet irony. Those that call apple users/fans sheep and in fact sheep themselves.

Yes we're all Sheeps. Some more than others.

DJ Dark said,

Wow you wanna know some sweet irony. Those that call apple users/fans sheep and in fact sheep themselves.

Looks like Teebor touched a nerve. LOL

Chicane-UK said,
You'd think given just how much cash Apple are pulling in they could improve salary or shorten hours and hire more staff for their stores.. sheesh..

The guy is a part time worker making $14+ an hour.

ahhell said,

Looks like Teebor touched a nerve. LOL

Not really. Considering I sit in both camps. And I used to be one of the black sheeps calling apple users sheep all the time.

Eww unions... They should go the wal-mart route and fire anyone who utters that un godly word..

Yes, I hate unions with an untold passion, and I'm glad for the fact that were I work and the department I work in are non-union.

DJ Dark said,
Eww unions... They should go the wal-mart route and fire anyone who utters that un godly word..

Yes, I hate unions with an untold passion, and I'm glad for the fact that were I work and the department I work in are non-union.


The word ignorant comes to mind.

Invizibleyez said,

The word ignorant comes to mind.

In my experiance. Unions do nothing to protect those that work hard at their jobs yet they protect those that don't want to do *gasp* their job!

Also I'm not for lining anyone else's pocket before I get my paycheck (except tax)

Invizibleyez said,

The word ignorant comes to mind.

If Unions were doing what they were create to do, it would be one thing. Having been a Teamster for a delivery company, there was nothing worse than the lazy, worthless, dead weights who could not be fired because the Union protected them. Unions are supposed to protect all workers, not warm bodies paying dues...

DJ Dark said,

In my experiance. Unions do nothing to protect those that work hard at their jobs yet they protect those that don't want to do *gasp* their job!

Also I'm not for lining anyone else's pocket before I get my paycheck (except tax)

complete opposite experiece here, teachers unions here try to keep the ones who dont want to work employed and yet constantly demanding raises even when they know the school districts don't have the money and would have to raise property taxes to pay for it... and they tend to cause problems for teachers that show them up by doing their job.... the people who like to slack seem to make it to the top of the union then pick on and harass the teachers who are newer who like to work until they are fed up and leave...

schubb2003 said,
Unions are supposed to protect all workers, not warm bodies paying dues...

The companies that have a unioned workforce won't even try to discipline the dead weight for fear of the Union's wrath. This is also my problem with unions, and I'm a unioned employee in IT.

Invizibleyez said,

The word ignorant comes to mind.
The words "lazy, freeloader, dead weight, bum, looking for a free ride, and leech on the backs of hard workers" come to mind.

Tim Dawg said,
The words "lazy, freeloader, dead weight, bum, looking for a free ride, and leech on the backs of hard workers" come to mind.

+1,000,000!

I bet Steve Fail Jobs is gonna put a stop to it or he will cut their jobs as he hates resistance and competition. He also hates low prices and likes poor quality products that are half done and not ready to be shipped and unsatisfied customers is what he likes best.

soldier1st said,
I bet Steve Fail Jobs is gonna put a stop to it or he will cut their jobs as he hates resistance and competition. He also hates low prices and likes poor quality products that are half done and not ready to be shipped and unsatisfied customers is what he likes best.
He might hate low prices, but low quality? Apple products are some of the best, most durable stuff ever! And unsatisfied customers? Ha! iPhones users sure are unhappy! Yep! They just keep buying sh*tloads of them for no reason i guess.

soldier1st said,
I bet Steve Fail Jobs is gonna put a stop to it or he will cut their jobs as he hates resistance and competition. He also hates low prices and likes poor quality products that are half done and not ready to be shipped and unsatisfied customers is what he likes best.

Your fanboy is showing, zip up.

MS Lose32 said,
He might hate low prices, but low quality? Apple products are some of the best, most durable stuff ever! And unsatisfied customers? Ha! iPhones users sure are unhappy! Yep! They just keep buying sh*tloads of them for no reason i guess.

I agree, there is no doubt iPhone customers love the product, but its my guess they keep buying them because the model they currently have lacks something Apple smartly added in the newest version of the product just to keep them on a continuous upgrade cycle while only adding incremental changes to the product!

Shiranui said,
Alternatively, you could just get a better job....

Seriously, in this economy? Might be difficult considering that if they leave their positon there may already be 20 people looking to take their place!

NPGMBR said,

Seriously, in this economy? Might be difficult considering that if they leave their positon there may already be 20 people looking to take their place!

Then quit complaining and get to work! (not you personally) Seriously, if you have 20 people waiting to take your job then the last thing in the world you should be doing is complaining.

This is just an example of a problem with this country. Everybody thinks they're entitled to some sort of cushy job with excellent benefits and a fat paycheck. Ummm, no. Go to school, study hard, work hard, educate yourself, give yourself a valuable skill-set that employers are willing to pay for, THEN you get the cushy job. Sorry but I get so tired of people with their hand out thinking they're entitled to something they haven't earned.