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Former Apple employees helping with retail store workers’ unionization efforts

According to a Wired report, former Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett and Janneke Parris are aiding Apple retail store workers with their plans to unionize.

Unionization plans

Apple store employees in Atlanta have reached an agreement with the company to hold a union election on June 2, according to a copy of the stipulated election agreement obtained by The Verge. 

If approved the Cumberland Mall location will be the first unionized Apple retail location in the US. In April, it became the first Apple retail location to file for a union election in the US. Workers at the Grand Central Terminal store in New York have also launched a union drive, as have workers at the Towson Town Center store in Maryland. And at least a half dozen more locations are purportedly at less-advanced stages in the unionization process.

About Cher Scarlett

Scarlett, a former Apple engineer and #AppleToo organizer, left the tech giant last year after blasting Apple for forbidding employees to discuss their salaries, hours, and working conditions. In November 2021, she reached a “private settlement” with the company. As part of the resolution, Scarlett agreed to withdraw her September complaint and would receive a one-year severance package. Apple, in turn, agreed to publicly acknowledge employees’ rights to discuss working conditions. 

However, in December, Scarlett told Forbes that she was no longer withdrawing her National Labor Relations Board complaint against Apple. She said the company failed to “execute in good faith.”

About Janneke Parris

In November 2021, Parris, a leader of the #AppleToo movement, filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company, alleging the tech giant fired her in retaliation for organizing, reported The Verge.

Parrish created the #AppleToo platform to help colleagues air their concerns with Apple’s culture of “pervasive sexism” and pay equity, according to the complaint. Then, in October, she was fired, allegedly for failing to comply with a workplace investigation into leaks.

Parrish, a program manager on Apple Maps, was terminated for deleting files off of her work devices during an internal investigation — an action Apple categorized as “non-compliance.”The files included apps like Robinhood, Pokémon GO, and Google Drive.

According to The Verge, Parrish says the company terminated her based on “false and pretextual reasons” — namely because she “spoke up regarding her personal experiences regarding workplace concerns and helped give voice to her co-workers’ concerns in a workplace where such issues have been systematically siloed, suppressed, and unaddressed.”

But that’s not all

Verge reporter Zoë Schiffer tweeted that Apple’s retail head visiting a Maryland Apple Store, where employees are unionizing.

From the tweet: Apple VP of retail Deirdre O’Brien made a surprise appearance today at the store in Maryland that recently filed for a union election. She told employees she was there to “listen.”

the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.
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