As Apple retail store employees move forward to form a union over pay parity and other issues, the tech giant’s vice president of people and retail, Deirdre O’Brien, is reportedly trying to dissuade them from joining a union.
According to an internal video accessed by The Verge, O’Brien is explicitly discouraging employees from joining a union.
“I worry about what it would mean to put another organisation in the middle of our relationship,” she was quoted as saying in the report published late on Wednesday.
“An organisation that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business. And most importantly one that I do not believe shares our commitment to you,” she added.
Three of Apple’s own stores — one each in New York, Maryland, and Georgia in the US — are planning to form a union.
While the Apple store in Georgia will vote starting June 2, Apple’s retail store in Maryland will vote starting June 15 to form a union.
O’Brien allegedly said that a union would slow the company’s ability to respond to employee concerns.
“Apple moves incredibly fast. It’s one thing I love about our work in retail. It means that we need to be able to move fast too. And I worry that because the union will bring its own legally mandated rules that would determine how we work through issues it could make it harder for us to act swiftly to address things that you raise,” she explained.
O’Brien has been visiting Apple retail stores in person over the past few weeks.
To date, no Apple store has successfully formed a union.
The Apple retail store employees at the New York City store voted to affiliate themselves with the Workers’ United labour union.
Workers United recently backed unionisation efforts at Starbucks stores across the US.
Apple recently hiked benefits for both part-time and full-time retail employees.