In an effort to quiet union tinkering by Apple store employees, something that almost happened earlier this year, all new Apple store managers must take "union awareness" classes starting today. In a company document obtained by CNET, the Cupertino, California-based company posted curious information about a training course that reeks of anti-unionization. Behold:
"This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do's and don'ts of dealing with unions," the training description reads. "This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers."
The posting adds that the course "is a great opportunity to meet our legal team and ask any questions you may have."
Apple store employees, like many retail workers, have complained of long hours and low pay. They're also beholden to unique sect-like rules. For example, "the constant threat of censure for something as trivial as saying 'unfortunately' too much."
The company's slick retail stores have become an important part of the company's success, not to mention the Apple buying experience. Getting an iPhone 4S at Best Buy just isn't the same as buying it at a glistening yet sterile Apple store. CNET goes on to point out, "In Apple's fiscal 2011, which wrapped up in September, Apple posted net sales of $14.12 billion from its stores, a 44 percent increase from the year before."
Unionization of their 350 stores around the world could result in a decreased bottom line. We should point out, however, that Apple stores ranked in the top 50 best places to work by Glassdoor for the last three years. Better to sell Apple products than have to make them, right?