First Employee Council Reaps First Benefit

by Gary Allen on September 12, 2012

As workplace changes go, it’s a small one, yet one with enormous significance. Apple has rented office space adjacent to the Rosenstraße (Munich) retail store, in response to employee complaints of overcrowding to their official workers’ council. The store is the only one in Apple’s chain to have such representation, in this case by a Betriebsrat, a legally-authorized representation group that is common in several European countries. The Rosenstraße store employees joined the Ver.di council in December 2011 and within months had an official office in the back-of-house area of the store. With the rental of the new space on the second level over the Vodaphone store at Rosenstraße 1, it’s likely that the council office will move next door along with some store functions. There is an on-going effort to improve working conditions at Apple’s stores through the Apple Retail Workers Union (ARWU), founded by San Francisco (N. Calif.) store employee Cory Moll in May 2011. Despite its name, it is not a legally-recognized union under U.S. federal law. Instead, the organization encourages open discussion of workplace issues among store employees, including pay and benefits, shifts and scheduling, promotions and transfers, along with suggestions for improving store operations. So far, none of the United States Apple stores have taken steps to form a labor union according to specific federal regulations.

This photo shows the Rosenstraße Apple store, and the location (yellow) of the remote offices that Apple has rented.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Actual employee September 18, 2012 at 1603

The US Apple workers union is one guy who hangs out on twitter griping and nothing more. He’s allegedly sent some very douche bag emails to Cook, Browett etc but of course they haven’t replied, according to Moll.

I wouldn’t be shocked if it turned out that Cory Moll was nothing more than a lazy egotist who set up this union effort so if Apple ever tries to fire him he’ll have a way to sue


Cory Moll September 20, 2012 at 0101

You should take a look at who follows me on twitter and read what they say. At last count there are 150+ accounts, all anonymous because they fear what I don’t.

You should take a look at stories like this one that you’ve commented on, and see that I’m not just “one guy.”

I just happen to be the only one still who feels unafraid to speak publicly to make sure fellow workers like yourself are respected and earn a fair and livable wage.

I do believe that Cook and Browett, et al., are listening and paying attention; that’s fine if they don’t respond. But it sure is interesting how we got our review and raise earlier and more substantial than last year.

Despite douche bag comments like this I still respect you as a person, dear fellow worker. I started this movement beacause I care. This isn’t just some job that I wake up for and work and leave. I genuinely care about every person I work with, even if we don’t necessarily “click.” We all struggle together whether we want to admit it or not.

The choice is yours whether you want to be a part of it or not. Regardless, you’ll benefit either way and that’s all that I can ask for.


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