Apple supposedly fired employees due to their role in unionization, according to new reports

Apple store
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been known to treat unions with some degree of distrust, but now it looks like it could be actively singling out unionized staff and disciplining them unfairly. In a new report from the New York Times, there is evidence and testimony from some unionized staff who've been fired and, in their eyes, treated differently from other employees.

This could put Apple in hot water – although, as yet, nothing has happened beyond the affected talking about their experiences.

Maryland was the first store to unionize in the United States in June last year.

Firing union staff

The New York Times focuses first on the story of Gemma Wyatt of the Kansas City Apple store, who was fired after becoming unionized, being disciplined for being "a minute late three times in a month", and then finally missing a meeting because she was sick and "didn't give managers enough notice."

Wyatt has spoken out, saying "It took us time to realize they weren’t firing us just because of time and attendance," and has since become a part of a "charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board in March accusing Apple of unfair labor practices."

Apple isn't alone in treating unionized staff differently. Other outlets, like Starbucks and Trader Joe's, are also being put under some scrutiny as their staff unionizes. Apple has, of course, responded to the accusations, saying that it "had not disciplined or fired any workers in retaliation for union activity," going on to say “We strongly deny these claims and look forward to providing the full set of facts to the N.L.R.B.”

Apple apparently was fairly unbothered by unions – until they started to make more progress around the staff, and more people started to join. Since then, Apple has held meetings to "discuss the risks of Unionization," in some effort to deter staff from banding together. Since then, it looks like there may have been more direct action.

Tammy Rogers
Buying Guides and Deals Writer

As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.