Apple hires anti-union law firm in escalation against retail workers

Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update
Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has reportedly retained the services of Littler Mendelson.
  • The law firm is known for representing companies who are fighting against unionization efforts.
  • Littler Mendelson previously represented McDonald's.

Apple is bringing in the big guns to fight back against unionization.

As reported by The Verge, the company has retained the services of Littler Mendelson in response to retail workers' unionization efforts in Atlanta, Georgia. That law firm is currently also representing Starbucks and previously McDonald's in their efforts to fight back against unionization.

Sara Steffens, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America, said that Apple's hiring of Littler Mendelson shows that the company will "try to prevent their employees from exercising their right to join a union."

"By retaining the notorious union busting firm Littler Mendelson, Apple's management is showing that they intend to try to prevent their employees from exercising their right to join a union by running the same playbook as other large corporations. The workers at Starbucks, another Littler client, aren't falling for it and neither will the workers at Apple."

Apple declined to comment on the potential hiring of Littler Mendelson. Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy did, however, release a boilerplate statement about the company's competitive salaries and benefits.

"We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits."

One Apple Store employee said that unionization will help to ensure that the company must stand behind the pro-worker rhetoric that it speaks.

"From the start I've thought unionization was a good thing. Pay is so unequal at the stores — there are people who've been in roles for less time making more than people who've worked in those same roles for years. They position themselves as a company that's open to feedback but nobody acts on it. With a union backing the employees, they'll be more pressure on them to actually act on it."

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.