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Labor group accuses Apple of interrogating, surveilling staff at World Trade Center store

Customers shop at the new Apple Store at the World Trade Center shopping mall in New York City.

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The Communications Workers of America is accusing Apple of violating federal labor law at its World Trade Center store in New York City.

The CWA alleged in an Unfair Labor Practice filing with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday evening that Apple interrogated and surveilled staff, restricted them from posting union fliers and made them attend mandatory anti-union speeches.

The charge comes as Apple employees at several stores around the country are taking steps to unionize, including in New York’s Grand Central Station, Atlanta and Maryland. They follow a wave of unionization efforts at companies like Amazon and Starbucks.

“Apple retail workers across the country are demanding a voice on the job and a seat at the table. Unfortunately, and in contradiction to its stated values, Apple has responded like a typical American corporation with heavy-handed tactics designed to intimidate and coerce workers,” Tim Dubnau, the CWA’s deputy organizing director, said in a release announcing the filing.

Asked about whether the union is seeking to represent the Apple workers, a spokesperson for CWA said in a statement that the group “has been in contact with workers at the Apple WTC.”

“At this time our main focus is supporting Apple retail Workers and ensuring their workers’ rights are not being violated, which is why we filed multiple ULPs on their behalf,” the spokesperson said.

The union filed a separate charge on Tuesday, accusing Apple of violating federal labor law by holding captive audience meetings at its Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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