As a result of corporate officials’ statements and employee-imposed procedures, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has concluded that Apple has been infringing on labour rights. According to the NLRB, Apple’s “various work rules” make it difficult or even impossible for employees to exercise their legal right to a union.
The NLRB general counsel’s office spokeswoman Kayla Blado said that the company’s “various work rules, handbook rules, and confidentiality rules” “tend to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees” from exercising their right to collective action.
In September of 2021, Cook sent an email to the entire company saying, “people who leak confidential information do not belong here.” In a statement, Cook said the company “did everything in our power to identify those who leaked,” making it clear that it “did not tolerate disclosures of confidential information, whether it was product IP or the details of a confidential meeting.”
His message followed news accounts of a company-wide meeting the week prior, at which top executives fielded questions on sensitive issues like pay equity and Texas’ anti-abortion legislation. To fill you in, Apple senior engineering programme manager Ashley Gjovik was fired for allegedly disclosing proprietary company information. Gjovik rose to prominence after she criticised Apple’s response to sexual harassment and sexism on the job.
Apple, the most valuable company in the world, has experienced an unprecedented surge of public discontent among its white-collar personnel as well as unprecedented organising drives by retail employees, who decided to unionise last year in Maryland and Oklahoma.
Prosecutors from the National Labor Relations Board have recently concluded that allegations that Apple improperly intimidated workers at its retail shops in Atlanta and New York City, where some employees were attempting to unionise, are based on substantial evidence. Business officials have denied any wrongdoing.