First Labor Council Appears at Germany Store

February 21, 2012

As United States Apple stores employees continue to pursue improved working conditions, employees at one Germany store have formed a council to represent mutual interests with the company. According to the Germany-based Manager Magazin on-line edition, employees at the Rosenstraße (Munich) Apple store have formed a “Betriebsrat,” an official council—separate from a union—that will focus on working conditions. It’s the first such council within Apple’s Germany stores, the Web site says, and will deal with issues such as routine overtime, sales pressure from management, high noise levels within the store, and other health and safety matters. The Web site says the employees will eventually expand the councils to all eight Apple stores in Germany. The council’s creation coincides with on-going efforts within Apple’s U.S. retail workforce to effect improvements. The Apple Retail Workers Union (ARWU) was formed in May 2011 by San Francisco store employee Cory Moll to address workplace issues. The ARWU, not legally a union under federal law, began taking membership applications from Apple retail employees on January 11th. The group is focused on creating networks of employees to discuss common issues, well in advance of any attempt to seek union representation.

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