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Apple unlawfully interrogated NYC employees about union support, labor board says

The ruling will require Apple to post a notice at its World Trade Center store informing its employees that it violated labor laws.
Apple logo is displayed at the Apple store in Brooklyn.
Posted at 5:15 PM, May 07, 2024

A federal labor board ruled Apple violated labor laws when a retail store manager in New York City interrogated employees about potentially joining a union and prohibited union fliers from being distributed in the store’s break room.

The National Labor Relations Board published its ruling on Monday, upholding an administrative judge’s decision that Apple infringed on sections of the National Labor Relations Act that protect employees' rights to form and support a labor organization.

The original complaint was filed in May 2022 by the Communications Workers of America on behalf of certain employees at Apple’s World Trade Center retail location.

On May 9, 2022, the store’s manager asked an employee about his meeting with their human resources representative and if he had spoken to other employees about a wage increase. The manager also asked how the employee felt about unionization efforts, according to the decision.

However, Apple claimed the manager did not coercively interrogate the employee.

Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York.

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The ruling said leaders at the Apple store violated labor laws from May to June 2022 when they confiscated union fliers from the employee break room claiming the fliers were against the company policy regarding solicitation, yet allowed nonunion solicitation materials to be distributed.

At the time, an Apple store in Towson, Maryland became the first store to unionize, successfully voting to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Unions and workers have filed several complaints against Apple with the NLRB over the years, with many claiming the company has tried to interfere with union efforts.

Monday’s ruling will require Apple to post a notice at its World Trade Center store informing employees that it violated labor laws and outlining the board’s decision.