What you need to know
- Apple has reportedly retained the services of Littler Mendelson.
- The law firm is known for representing companies who are fighting against unionization efforts.
- Littler Mendelson previously represented McDonald’s.
Apple is taking unionization efforts seriously, but not in the way workers want.
Apple is bringing in the big guns to fight back against unionization.
As reported by The Verge, the company has retained the services of Littler Mendelson in response to retail workers’ unionization efforts in Atlanta, Georgia. That law firm is currently also representing Starbucks and previously McDonald’s in their efforts to fight back against unionization.
Sara Steffens, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America, said that Apple’s hiring of Littler Mendelson shows that the company will “try to prevent their employees from exercising their right to join a union.”
“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. The workers at Starbucks, another Littler client, aren’t falling for it and neither will the workers at Apple.”
Apple declined to comment on the potential hiring of Littler Mendelson. Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy did, however, release a boilerplate statement about the company’s competitive salaries and benefits.
“We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits.”
One Apple Store employee said that unionization will help to ensure that the company must stand behind the pro-worker rhetoric that it speaks.
“From the start I’ve thought unionization was a good thing. Pay is so unequal at the stores — there are people who’ve been in roles for less time making more than people who’ve worked in those same roles for years. They position themselves as a company that’s open to feedback but nobody acts on it. With a union backing the employees, they’ll be more pressure on them to actually act on it.”