Another week, another example of Apple’s ham-fisted approach to dealing with labor relations.
In response to allegations by former employees, the National Labor Relations Board said Apple violated employees’ rights by sending out an email threatening retaliation against those who leak discussions regarding issues such as pay equity and sex discrimination.
“Apple Violated U.S. Labor Laws With Anti-Leak Email”
In the email, Tim Cook said:
I’m writing today because I’ve heard from so many of you were incredibly frustrated to see the contents of the meeting leak to reporters.
“So many of you were frustrated by an attempt to shine a light on our labor practices.”
Okay, sure, that could happen.
I want you to know that I share your frustration.
Likewise, the Macalope is frustrated by the many, many leaks about how handsome he is. Very frustrating. Rest assured he will find the leakers. Oh, yes.
These opportunities to connect as a team are really important. But they only work if we can trust that the content will stay within Apple.
How can we put the screws to you if it’s in the news? Duh. C’mon, people. Think! It’s like you’re not even trying.
I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked.
Are we still doing “Phrasing!”?
… …people who leak confidential information do not belong here.
Tattooed on Tim Cook’s right bicep: “Loose lips…” And on his left: “…pink slips.”
It’s not exactly the St. Crispin’s Day speech, Tim. “We would not die in that man’s company who… heh… you know… wants everyone to get paid the same. … You know what? Let me start again. The French are over there…”
The NLRB found that Apple’s confidentiality rules violated “the National Labor Relations Act because they reasonably tend to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to protected concerted activity.” Yet another example of Apple having a bee in its chamfered bonnet about employees working collectively.
Flip the 1 back to 0 on the sign that reads “Years since the NRLB said Apple violated federal law.”
Last year, the NLRB also said that Apple violated federal law by holding mandatory anti-union meetings and interrogating and coercing employees at its Atlanta and New York store locations.
The Macalope’s not an employment expert, but he’s been around the block and taken a few classes, so he’s not a complete rube. And this just seems dumb. Being so paranoid about your employees’ desire for collective action is just a bad look for one of (sometimes the, depending on the day) richest companies in the world.
Now the company has to settle or go to mandatory employee relations driving school. According to a statement from the NLRB to Wired:
…if the parties don’t settle, the Regional Director will issue a complaint, prosecuting this charge in a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, who could order remedies.
The Macalope wishes he could rent out a double room at a local Hampton Inn, trick Apple into showing up by suggesting the leakers were there, and then when they show up, lock them in with freaking Microsoft of all companies and have a good, old-fashioned intervention. Bad coffee, donuts, tears, and hopefully some emotional breakthroughs. We find out the company acts this way because Steve Jobs was so aloof, never hugged it or whatever, and move on.
And then Apple and the Macalope can lock Microsoft in to talk about its layoff addiction.
Probably should look into an Extended Stay instead of a Hampton Inn. This might take a while.