Labor Union Tries To Put the Bite On Apple

  • October 4, 2015

Apple Facing Labor Dispute Issues in San Francisco

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Apple is building a new flagship store in San Francisco, but they’ve run into some labor problems along the way.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle and ConstructionDIVE, Apple is facing issues with contractors over unpaid bills, and has angered local building trade groups by not fulfilling promises to hire union labor to perform work on the project.

According the local officials from Local 22 of the Carpenters union, Apple promised to hire a general contractor for the project that would hire only members of local craft unions., but has since moved the project to another contractor.  An Apple spokesperson claims all the labor being used on the project is union represented, but the union disagrees.  This has resulted in regular picketing at the construction site, and the creation of a website called the Ugly Half of Apple Inc. which they are actively using in the high tech Silicon Valley area to publicize the labor dispute by including the name, email and phone number of the Apple manager responsible for the project on the site, and describing the details of the labor dispute.

In February 2014 Apple committed to the Carpenters Union that they would hire a general contractor that follows area standards, and requires all of their subcontractors to follow area standards,  on all jobs all of the time.Apple also asked for the public support of Carpenters Local 22 for their project entitlement process. The Carpenters mobilized and successfully helped Apple move the project forward.  Unfortunately, once Apple got what they needed from the Carpenters, Apple went back on their commitment and hired a general contractor that does not require payment of area standards wages and benefits on all of its jobs all the time.Apple Inc has failed to require LEDCOR CONSTRUCTION INC and all of its sub-contractors to pay carpenter area standard wages and benefits on all projects all the time.
According to the website AppleInsider, pickets have been held at Apple Stores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Palo Alto and over the past few weeks with customers being greeted by protesters criticizing Apple and project general management company Ledcor over issues related to not hiring union labor, along with unfair wages and benefits.
This type of local campaign is not unusual, but is an excellent example of the ways local unions can combine classic picket line activities with new media efforts to provide greater outreach for their issues in the community.  CUE can help employers prepare in dealing with these kinds of issues.