The American manufacturing giant Apple has to deal with several controversies every year. This is more or less a normal situation for many large multinational companies. AUS working groups and investors have reportedly submitted a shareholder proposal urging Apple to consider “how it manages the rights of its employees.” The proposal, which was tabled by groups including the union’s pension funds adviser, SOC Investment Group and a branch of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), claims that Apple’s public obligations, such as freedom of association, are inconsistent with its actual actions.
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Apple is firmly against unionization
One of these measures is the company’s strong desire to prevent unionisation. There’s a clear inconsistency between what Apple has on paper and what it’s doing on the ground. The company accuses Apple of “infidelity” (cheating).
“If a company’s values deviate from its actual behavior, that’s a problem,” says Dieter Waizenegger, Managing Director of SOC Investment Group.
Other contributors to the proposal include New York auditor Brad Lander, wealth managers Trillium Asset Management and Parnassus Investments. In May, the Communications Workers Association of America (CWA) accused Apple of violating federal labor laws by interrogating and monitoring employees. The company also prevents them from distributing union flyers and forces them to attend anti-union speeches. Apple has also hired anti-union attorneys at Littler Mendelson, the largest labor law firm in the United States. This is an attempt Prevent employees from forming unions.
Apple’s 2023 shareholder proposal expires tomorrow (September 8). Joint ventures and investors are submitting shareholder proposals at this time. This is in addition to hopes of capitalizing on it the recent surge in unionization. It also coincides with Apple’s release of a new iPhone generation. At Apple’s March shareholder meeting, two proposals won a majority. One requires Apple to conduct a civil rights audit, while the other would require Apple to review the use of non-disclosure clauses and other agreements to limit employee speech.
In addition to Apple, companies like Amazon and Starbucks are also working hard to prevent workers from unionizing.