Many employees do not talk about unionizing because there is often conflicting information about the benefits of joining a union. Employers may consider their workforce unionizing as a negative outcome in their business plans and advise against joining.
However, there are certain protections in place between the two parties of corporate workforce and labor workforce to leave room to discuss and debate these benefits. When a company pushes against unionizing enough, it may find itself liable for breaking labor laws.
Apple’s anti-union talks
As Apple Insider reports, Apple has recently promoted anti-union messages during their daily meetings at a Virginia store.
Messages include claims that unions might force employees who voted against unionization to join. They did not mention that this is different from state to state — and not true in Virginia.
Another claim included that collective bargaining made worker benefits harder to achieve. Store management allegedly mentioned that secret union meetings were not a good thing to do.
Union discussions and protection
According to the National Labor Relations Board, no employer may prohibit employees from talking about unionizing. While supervisors may frown on discussions over unionizing — or even hold mandatory meetings to discourage it — the NLRB protects employees from corporate spying, coercive questions and bribes regarding union activity.
Talks discouraging unions and acts preventing union organization both tread a fuzzy line. Employees facing termination or disciplinary over these actions have a lot to overcome when protecting their rights. When companies breach federal and state labor protections through retaliation, there are ways to pursue justice.