As various corners of Apple’s workforce organize, so too is the company scrambling to try to work around them. Unsuccessfully so as of recent in Australia. A recent attempt to rush through a workplace agreement and pay deal has been stalled by the Australian Services Union (ASU) and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The unions claim Apple acted in bad faith to push the agreement through and that it would leave union workers in a worse state if the deal went through. Apple has agreed to put the brakes on the deal and meet with union representatives.
Word of this recent conflict between Apple and its Australian union workers was reported via the Sydney Morning Herald. Accusations from the unions claim Apple wronged the employees by not informing them of the workforce agreement’s access period on September 19. The access period is a mandatory seven-day period in which workers are allowed to see what an agreement entails before voting on it.
With Apple’s effort to expedite the agreement, the unions went on to file applications to the Fair Work Commission with the claim that Apple was attempting to finalize said deal without giving union representatives a proper opportunity to comb its details and consult Apple about it. In turn, Apple cancelled the access period on the deal and agreed to further meetings with union representatives.
Union representation within Apple has grown over the past few years. In the United States, employees of an Atlanta Apple Store filed to unionize, aiming to bring over 100 employees into a union, pending a successful vote. Employee organization has also been spurred by a wave of allegations of poor workplace conditions and toxic management within the company, which were organized in the #AppleToo campaign, demanding accountability on the part of Apple leadership for the issues in the company’s workplaces. The Apple company has yet to properly address AppleToo.
Nonetheless, as more employees organize within the Apple company, the efforts by Australian unions to bring Apple to the table for discussion could be seen as a win for said organization. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates and details.