The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has filed two Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) complaints against the tech giant.
"The charges allege that Apple illegally fired five workers at the company's Country Club Plaza store in Kansas City and that some of the fired workers were forced to sign a 'Release of All Claims' in exchange for a meagre severance package," the CWA said in a statement Tuesday.
A Release of Claims is a written contract wherein "one or more parties agree to give up legal causes of action against the other party in exchange for adequate consideration," which may be offered as severance in terms of employment, according to Thomson Reuters Practical Law.
Five pro-union workers were terminated in Kansas City, Missouri, while another staffer in Texas was disciplined for supporting the union, the CWA alleged. It accused Apple of questioning union organisers and promising better working conditions to those who don't support the labour organisation. People who wanted to unioniae were allegedly threatened with worse working conditions, the CWA said.
In one case Apple managers fired a staff member for a typo in my timesheet that I had documented and tried to correct. Yet, it is clear the real reason he was fired was for exercising his right to organise and win a protected voice on the job.
Since Apple retail workers started organising about a year ago, the iPhone maker has allegedly "chosen the low road" and hired "union-busting-firm" Littler Mendelson to launch a "coordinated, national union-busting campaign."
We would say it is trying to duplicate working conditions in China, only it is unlikely that Apple would get away with that sort of thing in the Middle Kingdom.
Gemma Wyatt, a fired pro-union employee who worked in Apple's Kansas City store for seven years, told The Washington Post that she was first put on a disciplinary notice for being late by an average of one minute three times in a month during her shift. It was odd that Apple managers were that precise, they can’t have been using iPhone timekeeping software as that is notoriously unreliable.
She was then fired in early February after two more attendance-related issues.
"They succeeded in crushing the will to organise at our store," Wyatt told the Post.