Starting today, Apple Store managers will have to undergo euphemistically-titled "union awareness" training, to learn about attempts by employees to unionize. It's safe to say Apple doesn't want unions getting in the way of their creepily efficient customer service.
While there are plenty of worse places you could be working than the Apple Store, all is not perfect in the gleaming temples to consumerism. Workers complain of rigorous hours and low pay, like any retail job, as well as Apple-specific hardships, the constant threat of censure for something as trivial as saying "unfortunately" too much.
Apple must be feeling the heat from a potential populist Genius uprising. One Apple Store employee launched an effort to unionize US Stores this summer; in Italy, Apple Store employees have already gone on strike for improved working conditions.
Cnet reports on the "Union Awareness" program, just launched today:
"This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do's and don'ts of dealing with unions," the training description reads. "This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers."
The posting adds that the course "is a great opportunity to meet our legal team and ask any questions you may have."
On the plus side, if Apple decides to really go the anti-union route, we can expect their propaganda videos to be way slicker than Target's hack job.
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Update: We emailed Cory Moll, the Apple Store employee behind recent attempts to organize store workers into the Apple Retail Workers Union, and he had this to say:
I don't really have much to say about Apple's union awareness training. I expected it at some point, and it will be interesting to hear about what is discussed, if that ever becomes public to us. Obviously since that training is for managers it may be difficult to find out. The one thing I hope they take away is that we have the right to discuss grievances and take collective action where appropriate.
[Image via Getty]