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Apple Store Employee Attempts To Form Union

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the jobs-needs-better-jobs dept.

Businesses 1008

An anonymous reader writes "Cory Moll, a part-time employee at an Apple store in San Francisco, is attempting unionize Apple store employees. The Apple Retail Workers Union is an attempt to fight for better wages and benefits and to address what he says are unfair practices in the company's glass-and-steel retail showrooms. 'The core issues are definitely involve compensation, pay, benefits,' said Mr. Moll, who has received little public support from employees so far, though he said he has emails expressing support. An Apple representative confirmed Mr. Moll is an employee, but declined to comment on the union effort."

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Unionize this (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420300)

Yeah, go ahead and form your "union". You will quickly find out just how replaceable [flickr.com] you are.

Re:Unionize this (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420316)

When there are no employees left, how will humans earn the money to buy products with?

Your point is entirely valid. Automation and robotics are replacing jobs faster than they are being created now.

Re:Unionize this (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420340)

When that happens, we change the the economic system. If we really don't need any human workers to produce everything, then.. we don't need humans to have to work to get the stuff.

Re:Unionize this (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420400)

When that happens, *they* (the rich/powerful/police etc) will have all the guns/food, control of all purchases/transport/employment etc. And you'll be utterly fucked.

Re:Unionize this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420428)

They need to learn this the hard way. Let go.

I'd be fine with that (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420462)

if they weren't dragging me down to the pits of hell with them.

Re:Unionize this (5, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420700)

When that happens, *they* (the rich/powerful/police etc) will have all the guns/food, control of all purchases/transport/employment etc. And you'll be utterly fucked.

When that happens, you download an .stl file and print whatever object it is you wanted. It's already possible to build your own CNC mill/lathe, FDM machine, furnace, casting moulds, etc. With enough time and a bit of googling, you can make nearly anything at home (a few people have even fabricated and packaged their own microchips). That process will only become cheaper, faster and more automated.

Re:Unionize this (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420448)

When that happens, we log back to Facebook and bitch about our lives even more.

We'd need a complete rethinking of resource distribution otherwise, and I doubt most of us could imagine a world without capitalism.

China, India (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420366)

their middle class is bigger than the entire US population, you know?

Re:China, India (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420500)

If you consider $5k a year "middle class".

Re:China, India (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420568)

You would if your cost of living was proportionally lower.

Remember that although someone may make 5K USD a year and food/shelter/entertainment/transportation only costs 3K USD a year, that's a lot of money.

Look at it this way: imagine that your food wasn't sold for grossly inflated prices. your $200-400/month food bill would suddenly become $20-40. that alone would LIKELY mean that you make more then you need.
Though us westerners just come to the conclusion that that money should instead be spent somewhere else instead of saved or *GOD FORBID* not made in the first place. Ever asked your boss to cut back your salary when cost of living goes down?

Re:China, India (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420614)

When does the cost of living ever go down? The end goal of capitalism is for profits to be ever increasing, and that money must come from somewhere!

Re:China, India (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420596)

It's not about how much you make, it's how much you can afford. Not everything costs the same worldwide.

Re:China, India (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420608)

Well, if it buys you a home, enough to send your kids to college and you still have something left to buy a smartphone then, yes that's a middle class.
Remember, it's not the amount, it's what you can use it for in your neighborhood.

Re:Unionize this (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420480)

Star Trek Utopia.

Re:Unionize this (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420610)

you meant Star Trek Federated Utopia or STFU

Re:Unionize this (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420348)

While that's cool, I think apple stores still need humans to make the customers feel special about their purchase. You can't really get that from a machine. Yet.

Re:Unionize this (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420524)

That's a paradox because as I understand it, you go into an Apple store in the first place to buy yourself a new electronic friend since everyone else in the human race thinks you're an elitist twat.

Re:Unionize this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420542)

Dugg for elitist twat

Re:Unionize this (2)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420408)

It's not that simple. Human employees are there to influence the customers to buy things they did not intend to buy when they came in the store ;). Things like accessories, additional chargers and maybe a MacBook to go with your iPad. Also as many already know if you work for a company you are more likely to become the company's evangelist on your own time praising the greatness of your employers goods. If they replaced every employee with a glorified vending machine most of that would go out the window and the products sales go down like a rock. So it's more than what you think.

Re:Unionize this (4, Funny)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420692)

In Apple's case, that's irrelevant because they have slashdot.

Unions are about more than striking you know? (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420456)

they're also about organizing people into voting blocks. Think of what the AARP does. You can't touch Social Security & Medicare because old people are organized, they vote, and they've got the AARP telling them HOW to vote so they don't have to spend their time figuring out if candidate A can be trusted to leave SS & Medicare alone. The idea is works organize, form voting blocks, and if all else fails put laws in place (tariffs, min wages, socialized medicine) to protect themselves.

Re:Unions are about more than striking you know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420612)

to protect themselves

bankrupting their paymaster, auto company or federal government, is what unions are about

Re:Unionize this (5, Interesting)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420586)

Yeah, go ahead and form your "union". You will quickly find out just how replaceable [flickr.com] you are.

He's just following Apple's lead - if you can't even replace batteries, certainly you can't replace employees.

and find out how quickly the NLRB can respond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420666)

You people are so full of fear. Such cowards. You have no balls.

So get a new job (0, Troll)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420306)

If you feel you're not being paid enough, ask for a raise. If you don't get it and you're still unhappy, then change workplace. It's not that hard. And this is even from a part-time employee...

Re:So get a new job (3, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420380)

If you feel you're not being paid enough, ask for a raise. If you don't get it and you're still unhappy, then change workplace.

Do you really believe that is easy? Getting a new job involves time searching for it. Also, not having a job even for a short period of time is not an attractive option for most people, which complicates the matter further. There's a lot of friction in the job market, which is why it doesn't work well at all without unions and regulation.

Re:So get a new job (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420588)

You mean getting a better job involves some work and effort? If you're to f'ing lazy to find a better job, why do you deserve to be paid more? You can also look for a new job while you still have a job. The job market works really well without unions and regulation. If someone else is willing to do the same job as you at an acceptable level of confidence for less money, then the employer should have every right to hire that person. Artificially propping up salaries so that people that can't be bothered to search for a new job or *earn* a promotion can be paid more is what is broken about unions.

Re:So get a new job (2, Insightful)

kuzb (724081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420674)

Something tells me you've never had to look for a job before.

You should probably move out of the basement before you comment further.

Re:So get a new job (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420686)

The job market works really well without unions and regulation.

Utter rubbish! There may well be less unionisation in the workplace than there was, say, 30 years ago but the good working conditions and benefits that a lot us enjoy now were as a result of unions fighting for those back then.

The idea of a corporation is very simple - you make as much profit as possible by spending as little money as possible, and if you are the CEO or on the board of directors of a company, making money is your prime responsibility to the shareholders.

Statutory days off and free healthcare cost money and any CEO who gaves those out freely would be kicked out by the shareholders unless it had previously been shown that such benefits lead to a happier workforce and better productivity. CEOs did not discover that themselves, it was the unions that fought for those and got them in the first place - now they are standard benefits for many people because they create more profit than they cost to implement due to happier employees.

But those benefits did NOT come out of thin air - they were fought for by unions.

Re:So get a new job (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420672)

"Getting a new job involves time searching for it"

Just for shits and grins I have my second interview at a sex toy store tomorrow.

It isn't *THAT* hard. You just need to be SMART.

Re:So get a new job (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420386)

That's exactly what they're doing, only they're doing it as a group.

Re:So get a new job, knee grow (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420404)

If you feel you're not being paid enough, ask for a raise. If you don't get it and you're still unhappy, then change workplace. It's not that hard. And this is even from a part-time employee...

I'm not fond of unions myself. I like the idea, but unions are like every other organization: they refuse to disband or become inactive when their goals are accomplished. For unions, once safe workplaces and decent wages are established, the next growth area for them is politics and that's the problem. But to play Devil's advocate here... I have a question for you.

If we do things your way it will turn into a race to the bottom. If you are not being paid enough (and actually have a legitimate reason to believe that), sure you can change jobs. That won't be easy in this job market but it can be done. The problem is, your replacement is going to make the same inadequate wage that you did and is likely to make less since they just joined and haven't been with the company any length of time. You have no guarantee you won't end up in the same situation at the new company you work for, especially in the form of added responsibilities with no matching increase in pay. When this keeps happening across an industry it serves to stagnate wages or even drive them down.

Just think about mobile phone providers in the US. There are several different companies. They compete with each other. You'd think this would have certain effects, such as at least one company that charges a realistic rate for text messaging that actually reflects the marginal cost of delivery. The first company to do that could seriously undercut the competition. Fact is, they all grossly overcharge for texting and they all make more money that way. None of them want to rock that boat. It's de facto collusion, of the sort that doesn't have to be deliberately pre-arranged. Why do you think that can't happen to the job market? If no employer will pay a wage that realistically reflects the value you provide for the company, you either suck it up or get a new skillset and find a different line of work.

A union can actually force an employer to pay a higher, or if you like more reasonable, wage. That can be the case whether the employee is you or someone else. They can increase the average "going rate" for a worker in your industry, something other companies do look at when deciding how to attract the talent they want. Unions are an answer to the fact that any single employee is going to be replacable and that employers generally have the advantage in the job market due to overwhelming resources and the effects of "organization vs. individual, let's bargain".

Re:So get a new job (4, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420434)

True that. One should negotiate one's wages with a multinational corporation as equal individuals, not go brute force with collective bargaining.

Re:So get a new job (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420514)

True that. One should negotiate one's wages with a multinational corporation as equal individuals, not go brute force with collective bargaining.

I prefer Ken Thompson's philosophy: [faqs.org] When in doubt, use brute force.

Re:So get a new job (1)

danhaas (891773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420438)

In some fields, it's not so easy for specialized workers to find another job. It may even require the worker to move to another country.

How many companies hire aerospace engineers, for example? Or wheat geneticists?

But in this case, yeah, the guy shouldn't have trouble finding another job if he is minimally competent.

Re:So get a new job (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420490)

I know some Apple Store employees. They are all happy with their wages and benefits. Medical benefits at an Apple Store start from day 1. They tend to start at above $16 an hour. What other goddamned salesman, tech, or other retail monkey gets paid that kind of money? Sorry, but this asshat doesn't seem to know that he's not in some high-demand job. There are people who would line up for a shot at an Apple Store job and be happy with it.

Re:So get a new job (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420564)

Dude, that's complete bullshit. The majority of Apple Store employees are part time and don't get any benefits (except for cheap benefits like commuter checks.) Part timers start at ~$12 an hour.

Apple Store has a reputation for firing people at the drop of a hat. There's simply no value for them in retaining employees in the long run simply BECAUSE their employees are easily replaceable and the cost of retention is higher than the cost of training.

Re:So get a new job (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420620)

Dude, that's complete bullshit. The majority of Apple Store employees are part time and don't get any benefits (except for cheap benefits like commuter checks.) Part timers start at ~$12 an hour.

Apple Store has a reputation for firing people at the drop of a hat. There's simply no value for them in retaining employees in the long run simply BECAUSE their employees are easily replaceable and the cost of retention is higher than the cost of training.

And who expects awesome pay and benefits at part time? I should've clarified that I was talking about full-time, granted, but the point still stands. What the hell do you expect as a part-time employee? Awesome pay and a benefits package? Gimme a break. Once again, look around the rest of the industry and you'll probably be able to count the number of retail business that do so one one, maybe two hands. And I've never heard of Apple Stores firing people at the drop of a hat. Ever. Either someone screwed up or, surprise surprise, the manager of the store did it, not Apple corporate.

But yes, Apple Store employees are expendable. They're not working a highly skilled job. There are people lined up around the damned block who want an Apple Store job. Considering that, I'd say Apple treats them better than most.

Re:So get a new job (2, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420502)

why shouldn't employees (who are free to associate, right?) try to leverage the sunk costs of their training into higher salary? assuming (for sake of argument) that there is no government interference on their behalf and that the unionizers don't initiate "violence" against the non-unionizers, why is this not a rational approach compatible with Libertarianism(tm)?

note, a reply should either explain how unionizing under these assumptions is irrational or give a coherent argument along the lines that these assumptions are impossible to satisfy (i.e. convince me that government interference and/or violence is an absolutely inevitable effect of voluntary unionization).

Re:So get a new job (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420652)

Moll: Hi, welcome to your Apple Store. Would you like to join our union?
Customer: Huh? No thank you. I'm here for an iPhone 4.
Moll: If you belonged to a union you'd earn more money and would be able to afford the 64GB model. And some of our cool accessories. They're pricey but worth it.
Customer: I want an iPhone 4. With the WiFi's and the GB's.
Moll: Apple care is expensive, but you could afford it if you joined our union.
Customer: Is that an iPad? That's soooo cool. Maybe I'll get one of those too.
Moll: I'm sorry, I don't sell iPads. I'll have to get another associate to help you with that. Another associate who wants you to join our union.
Customer: I have to say your union evangelism is almost as convincing as Steve Job's enthusiasm for iThings.
Moll: Steve's not part of our union. He doesn't work in a store.
Customer: Is there a store he may be visiting? I'd be happy to go to that store to buy my iThings.
Moll: You customers are impossible to satisfy.

Re:So get a new job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420574)

Great idea! I can't imagine a company not giving a part-time retail salesperson a raise if they just ask nicely! If not they'll have no trouble changing workplaces in this booming economy.

The funny thing about unions (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420324)

Is how many of them that don't allow their own employees to unionize.

Citation? (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420374)

Seriously, never heard anything like this. Most union reps I know belong to the very same.

Re:Citation? (5, Interesting)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420468)

Here you go! [nypost.com]

Part timers? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420326)

Since when do part timers even get to talk about unions in the first place? Furthermore, you can 'unionize' all you want but the company you work for doesn't have to listen to you, or continue your employment.

Re:Part timers? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420370)

you need to read up on your Union laws.
They dont have to listen to you sure, but they can not fire you because you are in a Union.

Re:Part timers? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420420)

No, but if you have no pre-existing union contract ensuring otherwise, they can fire you and hire replacements when you refuse to come to work.

Re:Part timers? (5, Informative)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420544)

Actually, under Federal labor law, you can't be fired for advocating unionization. If you live in an at-will state, you can be terminated arbitrarily, but then a) you're eligible for unemployment, and b) if you WERE agitating for a union, and fired "without cause", you can drag your former employer in front of the NLRB for a lengthy and costly arbitration process.

Re:Part timers? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420694)

but then a) you're eligible for unemployment

Unemployment insurance eventually runs out. Once someone gets fired, whom will he or she use as a reference when seeking the next job?

Re:Part timers? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420426)

They can't fire you. But they don't have to bargain with you. And you can go on strike and strike as long as you please but since it's a new union I doubt you'll get much comp pay.

Re:Part timers? (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420540)

If you "strike" and your employer doesn't recognize your union, they'll just fire you for not coming to work and replace you.

Off Switch? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420336)

Judging by these mindless Apple puppet-droids [youtube.com] is it not just a case of locating the big plastic button in the middle of their backs, releasing the small plastic panel and just popping out their batteries?

Dude, It's an Apple product (3, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420472)

you can't remove the battery yourself!

Nothing is stopping you (0)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420346)

From getting a new job!

Re:Nothing is stopping you (1, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420494)

except an entire economy that's being engineered by a greedy ruling class to create a massive disenfranchised poor for their own benefit. The world's more complicated than either Adam Smith or Ayn Rand believed, and the super wealthy really are out to get you. It's what they do all day.

This is a Complete Non Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420362)

This guys says he wants to unionize, but it seems he hasn't done anything more than ask a couple of other people if they supported it. That's it.

In short, he hasn't attempted anything yet. Its basically a thought that hasn't gotten off the ground. Personally I hope Apple just fires this guy before he starts to cause more trouble.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420410)

What is it that Americans have against unions? Do you enjoy knowing that your employer has all the power and you're their bitch? At heart a union is an organisation that defends workers' rights and if a case blows up with their employer provides money and support to fight it in court. Or is a union in America more like a bunch of mobsters going around eating babies and raping people's cats? Because the American reaction to someone talking about a union seems at least as strong as if they were swearing fealty to Castro, wiping their ass with the constitution and swearing to bring the Revolution to America by blood and force and GOD FUCK EVERYONE. I mean seriously, we had a lot of trouble with unions before and they had got out of hand... but at heart, unions are a good thing and a line of defense against abuse from your employer that you simply don't have the means to provide for yourself.

Honest question, I just don't understand the attitude. Or maybe I've only heard from the ones that are opposed to unions, for whatever reason.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420534)

> Honest question, I just don't understand the attitude

It's about justice, agreements being voluntary to both sides, and reality reflecting the true economic value of labor.

In addition, there is a long tradition here of unions protecting incompetent employees, "pay for seniority", and other unfair practices. While it's highly imperfect, non-union places at least *try* to pay for performance rather than merely how many years you sat on your ass.

I can't find the link now, I'm sorry, but there was an article several years ago comparing US unionized steel plants to non-union plants. The ONLY profitable plants were the non-union plants. Their working condition were no worse than the unionized plants, and they were succeeding against foreign competitors in a way the union plants were not. When workers are protected no matter how lax they get, they get lax.

Ultimately you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. If another competitor (say, China) is willing to have labor reflect its true economic value, and you are not, well, your jobs go to China. We're seeing that effect now, and it is killing the nation as our entire manufacturing base moves overseas.

My industry is non-union and it is one of the last remaining one where the US has a domestic presence. Coincidence? Well, I doubt it. Obviously other will disagree.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420538)

What is it that Americans have against unions?

Anything that even remotely smacks of "worker's party" type stuff is going to get shot down by half the country. One state governor recently painted teachers as money-grubbing thieves in his effort to draw back their collective bargaining abilities and was successful at it.

Elected politicians are supposed to serve the interest of their constituents, whatever that may be. Now people are being told what their interests are, and they're eating it up. Teachers be damned.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (1, Interesting)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420594)

What is it that Americans have against unions?

They encourage their members to be lazy and corrupt, for one thing. They don't actually represent their members very well, for another. (Perhaps that isn't true in other countries, but it sure is true here!).

Before becoming a software developer, I worked as a machinist for a small, privately-owned, non-union machine shop. Everyone knew that their labor and their dedication was directly responsible for the success or failure of the company, and we all worked contentiously (not killing ourselves, but not goofing off either).

At one point, my foreman decided to take a job at a union shop, which was paying more than he could get at the small shop. He went there and worked just as he had worked at his old job. Within a week, the union steward told him that if he continued to work that way, he would have an unfortunate accident.

Eventually, he decided that he didn't want to intentionally slack off just to keep his union brothers from beating him up (or worse), so he quit that job and returned to the small shop.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420644)

agree entirely... i belonged to a union and worked in a textile mill... the union did NOTHING for its members, merely collected dues from every paycheck, and in fact, hassled people, cut breaks short, and allowed filthy, unsanitary, and poor working conditions... women who worked the looms had running sores down the arms from the fiber dust in the air, there was inadequate ventilation, and multiple cases of COPD (not named so at the time) among long-term workers... i quit after six months - just walked off the job, didn't even want the last paycheck - got a nasty letter saying that 'i'd never be employed in a union job again' - stuff unions!

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420412)

The story here is what is un-written. The most "communistic" company that is out there may be required, by law, to deal with this union.
If you do not understand what I mean by that, look at how they handle the products they sell, the restrictions set upon them, and the heavy handed approach they take to anything they do not control or can not make money from
Oh, and you can not legally fire someone for attempting to start a Union. At least here in the US.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (1)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420488)

Oh, and you can not legally fire someone for attempting to start a Union. At least here in the US.

You can't really be that naive, can you? First of all, god knows how many states in US have "at will" employment laws. And even in those states that don't, do you really think it's hard to come up with an excuse to fire somebody?

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (2)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420444)

That's how unions start, dumbass. You ask around to feel out support. Than you start the campaign if you think you can win. Personally, I hope you're the first one with your AC back against the wall when the revolution comes before you criticize more "trouble".

Feel free to down-mod, my karma can take it. But parent comment is bullshit.

Re:This is a Complete Non Story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420498)

Prolly just some jew trying to stir up shit. That's usually what's behind this kind of thing.

Good for them (0)

amusenet (2084500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420390)

Well done Cory and best wishes for success. Unionisation is by far the most effective method of enhancing working conditions for all workers, regardless of industry sector. Too many in tech consider themselves "above all that" and allow themselves to be exploited by their employers. People should consider who really benefits from their labour before criticising a worthwhile venture.

Re:Good for them (0, Troll)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420504)

Look into what Apple Store employees make and what their benefits are. Then compare that to any other tech shop or retail storefront. Then realize that this guy is a stupid son of a bitch for griping that some of the best pay and benefits he's going to find in this sort of position are already his.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420622)

I know nothing about the Apple store pay and benefits, but "best" does not always mean "good".

Re:Good for them (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420634)

Who the hell do you think YOU are telling someone else how good THEIR employment benefits should be???

Or is this like the "drug dealer & addict" scenario where you're scared his actions my affect you getting your regular Apple fix?

Sorry, but in civilised society, if you work for a company that makes huge profits that you have worked towards creating, then you should have every right to ask for a better share in that profit and/or better conditions as a result.

Yes, we have instances where union power has been allowed to become far too great - but the fact is that most of us in the Western World work 40 hour weeks for reasonable pay and benefits, and in reasonable surroundings not sweatshops precisely BECAUSE unions fought the bosses for those rights.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420606)

Pardon me,
      Running a business is not a charity. The owner/investors put their money at risk in order to increase that money. The employer should always benefit from an employee/contractor's labor. If there's no benefit to the company, there's no reason for the worker. You pay a worker just enough to have him perform the work you require of him, and to retain his services as long as you desire them. If the pay is too low, nobody who is qualified will be willing to do the work, or will search for better compensation at a different workplace.

If a worker demands an increase in salary, benefits, or a reduction in workload, then you have to decide whether that employee is still a net benefit, and worth the increased cost. If not, then you deny it, and he may decide to leave your employment.

Reading these comments (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420392)

Reminds me that Americans are assholes when it comes to labor rights.

What's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420396)

This can't be a career move for most people. The folks I see working in an Apple Store are mostly young and likely are also going to school or university. And $14 a hour while earning a degree isn't too bad. Sure you could earn more somewhere else, but from what I've heard Apple doesn't treat their employees too poorly at all. Not to mention that from the conversations I've overheard in the store, what Apple really needs to do is train them a little better. It's not as bad as other electronics retailers I won't mention. Look if you feel you're worth more, then look around. If you really are you will get hired and earn more compensation. If you're not you'll earn a low hourly wage. Apple still has to pay what the market will bear. Unfortunately for Apple Store employees that appears to be $14/hour.

Re:What's the point (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420520)

THIS. The assclown calling for a union needs to take a long look at the rest of the retail industry, and then realize that his pay and benefits are FAR better than he'll find almost anywhere else. For a full-time Apple employee, medical benefits start at day 1. Geniuses start at $16/hr, usually higher. You think you'll find that anywhere else in this industry? I'd expect to see Best Buy monkeys unionize before Apple Store employees. Sorry, but there are FAR worse jobs than the Apple Store, pal.

Re:What's the point (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420682)

I agree, nobody should try to better their own situation as long as anyone else has it worse off

Pathetic... (-1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420406)

What irritates me, especially of US companies is that they make billions over the back of poor people that work for them and try to do anything to keep these people from getting at least fair payment.

I think Steve Jobs like many of his peers is a very pathetic human being.

Re:Pathetic... (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420528)

Look into what Apple Store employees get paid. Look into their benefits. Then look at the rest of the retail industry and see what they get paid. Then shut the hell up because Apple actually treats their employees better than most.

Re:Pathetic... (-1, Troll)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420578)

Ask their Chinese employees, oh wait, they can't answer because they were blown to pieces for their $2,- a day wage.
So shut up yourself ass.

Re:Pathetic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420648)

Ask their Chinese employees, oh wait, they can't answer because they were blown to pieces for their $2,- a day wage.
So shut up yourself ass.

Yes ask their Chinese outside contractors that ARE paid MORE than there piers.
So shut up yourself.

Re:Pathetic... (2)

brian1442 (640731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420590)

Last time I checked, the competition for jobs at Apple Stores was pretty fierce. If they're not getting a fair wage, then they should quit and get another retail job. And if they economy is bad and they can't find another job, then they should be happy about their current job and not complain. And if they don't like working retail then they should study for a new career that's higher paying. The people working in the retail store don't have anything to do with Apple making billions of dollars per year. (Yeah, sure, Apple needs retail staff, but like I said, if every single Apple Retail employee quit today, Apple could have the jobs all filled by tomorrow, and in two weeks the store's sales would be the same as they are today.)

Re:Pathetic... (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420630)

What irritates me, especially of US companies is that they make billions over the back of poor people that work for them and try to do anything to keep these people from getting at least fair payment.

In the last several decades corporate profits have grown tremendously while wages have been relatively stagnant. I don't see many good answers to this. Most laws intended to alter market forces produce horrible side-effects that no one wants to admit. An easy example is the shortages caused by imposing price controls. Another example not typically understood in terms of market forces is drug prohibition -- market forces are really quite difficult to declare by fiat.

What I'd personally like to see is the rise of co-ops and employee owned companies. I'd like to eventually see them replace standard corporations. Someone will probably scream bloody murder since globalism is our new holy of holies, but a little protectionism is not a bad thing either. Specifically, I'd like to see just enough that manufacturing jobs start returning to the US. This would be even more effective if we finally admit that corporations do not pay taxes; they merely pass them onto their customers by charging more. If most of their customers are not wealthy, this is actually the same kind of regressive taxation that "progressives" (progress towards what?) normally foam at the mouth about. Currently, more than 20% of the price tag of any item you buy is directly caused by the (inclusive) corporate income tax. Who do you think is most harmed by this? Bill Gates?

Not having the world's second highest corporate tax rate would also attract manufacturing jobs back to the US. If anyone doesn't understand this, perhaps they can take a few minutes (preferably before replying) to look into why the company is called Daimler-Chrysler and is not called Chrysler-Daimler. Replacing income tax with a consumption tax would be the easiest way to do this, and has the nice side-effect of transferring a large amount of power away from Congress since the only "advantage" (for them) of an income tax is that you can use carrot-and-stick incentives to manipulate behavior. Otherwise it's one of the most burdensome, least efficient, most-prone-to-cheating methods of attaining government revenue.

In a probably futile effort to save time, if your knee-jerk reaction is to scream about how consumption taxes are so horribly regressive, do yourself a favor and actually research the Fair Tax Act. Don't be the kind of self-congratulatory jackass who pretends like such concerns have not been addressed. That would only prove that complete ignorance of a subject doesn't stop you from forming an opinion about it. They have been addressed. If you disagree with the methods by which they have been addressed, in that case I welcome your views.

A bit more national self-sufficiency, more jobs, and a wider variety of long-term viable jobs would alter the completely lopsided "buyer's market" that is now the job market. Employers may have to go back to competing with one another for the most desirable talent, something that ultimately benefits everyone. Few benefit from a situation where each applicant to McDonalds is competing with hundreds of others, let alone for higher-paying jobs and "real" careers.

Is this worthy of Slashdot? (0)

ScottyLad (44798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420458)

Why is anyone even bothering to report this story?

One part time employee doesn't like his job, but his first thought isn't to quit and go work elsewhere?

Unions are a relic of the "one job for life" generation. These days worker mobility does more to keep a check on pay and conditions than any of the unions, who care only about what power they can hold on to for the union leaders themselves.

Perhaps this chap might be about to discover a thing or two about the flexible job market himself - I doubt very much a part time retail drone generating headlines like this would go down well with any employer.

Re:Is this worthy of Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420566)

Not always.... where my wife is a CNA (didn't go LPN.because her company basically.ditched all of them and made the CNAs pick up the lower level tasks and the RNs the higher), the union works to keep the employer honest.. and trust me they aren't always. They approve vacation, only to remove the approval letter from the employees personal folder and claim the vacation was denied (just happened about a week ago). The union stood up for the employee. Also working conditions and the terms they set (the new owners tried to create a rule that you couldn't use vacation time on a weekend your suppose to work, and since you only get every other weekend off, it means any vacation you take would have to be Monday to Sunday for a week long vacation, unlike everyone takes (and has taken there) which is Sunday to Saturday.

I know some of it is small stuff, but there's bigger issues as well they cover. Now I don't agree a part timer should be opening his mouth, nearly every place I've ever worked a part timer gets no benefits and accumulates vacation at a fraction of what a full timer does if they accrue any at all (I don't get any paid vacation and didn't even when I working full time where I'm at now, a small stereo shop where I install remote starts etc. One reason I was glad to finish school and am hard core job hunting)

Re:Is this worthy of Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420580)

Unions are a relic of the movements that won us the 8-hour day, workplace safety laws, OSHA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, whistle-blower protection laws, retirement benefits, employer-subsidized health insurance... and that's just off the top of my head.

One fundamental problem with unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420474)

If it's unfair for Apple to employ people in a particular way, then it's unfair for Company X to employ them in a particular way.

Minimum wage (an artifact of the early labor movement) is fair in this regard. It applies equally to all employers. It doesn't require dues. It doesn't require membership in an organization. It's a right conferred simply by being a worker.

If it's unfair to employ workers in a particular way at a retail computer store, then he shouldn't form a union. Instead, he should argue for a uniform pay and benefit scale for retail computer store workers, and get bills passed in relevant jurisdictions.

That would be an extension of minimum wage in some sense.

Please note, I'm not actually saying that this is a good idea. A regime of job classifications and compensations standards imposed by government could be undesireable regulation. I'm just saying that unions have fundamental problems because they end up applying rules based on what's essentially luck of the draw. They also require expensive ongoing maintenance (dues) for you to retain those rules, whereas you could maintain favorable labor laws more cheaply simply by voting.

Not going to happen (2)

breadboy21 (856238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420550)

I don't think that's iLlowed.

Re:Not going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420640)

He'll probably be sent to Foxconn, "earn" a company-sponsored trip to Vegas, then mysteriously wake up in a bathtub full of ice...

chances are slim (2)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420558)

Historically, unions aimed at a single company fail pretty miserably, Unions live or die by numerical strength, and you can't get that if one company can scab the entire membership out. Now if they got Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc on board and called themselves the "electronics salesforce union", they might have a chance. Short of that, it'll just be a flash in the pan.

Wow. (0, Flamebait)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420592)

I think this asshat needs to take a long, hard look at the rest of the industry. He's working a retail storefront job. He's getting paid $14/hr when hardly any other retail job is going to pay like that, and Apple happens to offer very good benefits. Medical starts from day 1 for full-time employees, at least. Want to go to school? Apple will help you do it! The employee discounts aren't bad at all, either, usually 25% off.

Seriously, for a retail/tech grunt job, Apple treats their employees better than most. Just talk to anyone who has worked at Best Buy. I'd expect to see a lot more jobs unionizing before Apple Store employees do it. What the hell?

The 30-year-old employee...

Ah, there we go. 30 years old and working a retail job. Way to go, pal. You know what? YOU ARE EXPENDABLE. You're not skilled labor. There are people lined up to work at Apple Stores who could do your job. Supply and demand applies to labor as well as products, you know. Apple is treating you well as it is. It's not their fault you wound up in a retail storefront at the age of 30. I don't think anyone should expect to make a career there unless they move up the ladder (at least to management of some sort), at which point you'll get better pay and benefits anyway. What a fucking joke.

Re:Wow. (1)

at.drinian (1180281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420696)

Not a Mac user, and agree their benefits seem pretty good, but wouldn't calling their technical support area the "Genius Bar" imply that Apple does want to hire people a little better than just "expendable?"

Re:Wow. (-1, Troll)

sobolwolf (1084585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420706)

Yeah Wow! I think you must be a wage slave driver! Talk about knee jerk... you sound like a southern farmer being asked to let his niggers go free.. oh the outrage!!!

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420708)

I don't know where you are from but most retail jobs around here pay $14 an hour or more. Minimum wage is about $10.50 US, so if you want someone who understands personal hygiene and can dress to impress, you're going to have to dig deep and find at least another $3.50 an hour. Almost all of the retail jobs I know of also come with benefits (not as awesome as giving you free education, but health benefits, yes). And 25% off is pretty low. Many retail jobs offer to let you buy at cost, and in most retail environments, that's up to 75% off.

>There are people lined up to work at Apple Stores who could do your job.

For what you said to be believable (that the benefits and pay are shit industry wide) then why the hell would ANYONE want to line up for the job?

Me thinks you're in a shitty job in a shitty country and you need to just GTFO. Come live somewhere where you get paid properly and have opportunities. The US is on its way to being a third world country. Get off the ship before it sinks.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420710)

"YOU ARE EXPENDABLE. You're not skilled labor. "

I don't think this is a good argument to make when you're attempting to convince someone that unionizing isn't in their best interests. Feel free to ignore me and continue with your unhinged, anti-union hyperbole.

Yeah, conditions in Apple Stores are terrible! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420604)

I mean, it pains me to even look in the window when I walk by! Employees have to be at work by 10am, spend all day in a well-air-conditioned (or well-heated, depending on the time of year) office, work with the latest technology, learn skills that will help them get ahead in life, get free iPhones, get discounts on any Apple products they or their family or friends want to buy ...

Dude, if you don't like your job, go find a different one. I dare you! My guess is you'll find that things aren't all so bad working for Apple.

Alternatively, you could stop wasting time trying to form a union and focus on being better at your job. Next thing you know, you'll get offered a full-time job, get promoted, and get paid more. And then you'll be happy that Apple can reward you for being better at your job than other employees instead of being shackled by union rules about how much someone in a given person should make.

I wouldn't worry too much (3, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420616)

Steve's real cool. You'll see.

In other news... (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420628)

Cory Moll was reported missing today by his family. They also expressed concern about a chrome statue placed in front of the local Apple store in Cory's exact image and dimensions. An Apple store representative said, "We wished to express our gratitude for Mr. Moll's concerns and have thus erected this statue, and will do so for any other employee who does the same."

move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420642)

He should go work at the Foxconn plant and try to unionize those employees.

Camel Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420650)

I really love the union of camels, makes me laugh every time they prance across the landscape.

Terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420670)

Don't worry. Apple will find a reason to fire this guy.

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