Apple (AAPL) may be concerned that it’s not being sensitive enough. The company is offering internal training to its retail store managers on the effects of union organization. I find it odd that workers at a tech company would even think about unionizing, but apparently some glorified customer service clerks calling themselves the Apple Retail Workers Union think they deserve more pay, perks, and job security than the highly educated engineers and computer scientists who design Apple’s fine products.
I hope Apple includes the following topics in its internal training course. Labor relations experts have found that operating costs in unionized companies are at least 25% higher than non-unionized companies. Union negotiating tactics actually harm the ability of employers to retain union jobs. GM and Chrysler went into government-brokered bankruptcy partly thanks to their high costs of labor and health benefits. I also hope someone speaks up against unionization at Apple’s next shareholder meeting so management gets a warning about what their approach should be.
Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his grave. He saved Apple from self-destruction without the help of a unionized workforce. He advised his successors to “do the right thing.” That means Apple’s leadership should resist any and all attempts by unions to organize.
Full disclosure: No position in AAPL at this time.