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Apple continuing full-court press against retail unionization efforts

Apple Towson Town Center

Apple has been addressing unionization drives by discussing a host of anti-union talking points at several more of its Apple Store locations in Maryland and Virginia.

One employee who said they work at "Apple Townsend" — likely meaning Apple Towson Town Center in Maryland — said that company representatives recently gave anti-union talking points, including the fact that a union could slow down schedule changes and that recent pay raises were not the result of unionization efforts.

AppleInsider has confirmed the location and timing of the efforts in Towson, Maryland.

Meanwhile, about 70 miles down I-95, Apple has also been holding anti-union meetings at Apple Reston in Virginia, one staffer told AppleInsider in an email. The employee said Apple Market Leaders came to the store and used the closure of recent unionized Starbucks stores as a negative example of union pushes. We were also able to confirm these meetings through other sources.

There has been a growing effort to unionize, both at Apple retail locations and at other companies.

An Apple Store in Atlanta, Georgia was the first retail location to organize earlier in 2022. Since then, retail locations in Kentucky, New York City, and elsewhere have also made similar moves.

This is not the first time that Apple has made moves to counter unionization efforts.

Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's chief of retail and people, has pushed back against the union pushes, saying that the relationship between Apple and its employees could be "fundamentally changed" under unionization.

Apple was also said to be circulating anti-union talking points to store mangers earlier in May. In April, it hired lawyers known for busting unions.

Union organizers across Apple's retail footprint say that pay has fallen below living wages in many markets, including Atlanta.

There has been a growing movement to unionize, both at Apple and elsewhere. Many Starbucks stores are moving to unionize and have faced retaliation from the company. Amazon warehouse workers also voted to become the first union at the retail giant earlier in 2022.

Unionization efforts have also gained support from both customers and public figures. Back in June, President Joe Biden congratulated Apple workers in Maryland for voting to join a union, saying he was "proud of them."