Apple has been accused of carrying out “psychological warfare” against its unionizing staff in Atlanta, after it was ruled it broke federal law.

Prosecutors from the US Labor Department have ruled that the tech giant broke federal law by interrogating and coercing unionizing workers.

This is the company’s latest legal charge over its reactions to union organizing attempts.

The Atlanta regional director of the National Labor Relations Board found Apple held compulsory anti-union meetings.

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The agency’s press secretary, Kayla Blado said management made threatening statements during the meetings and will file a complaint if the firm doesn’t settle.

The case comes after the Communications Workers of America petitioned for a unionization election at the Atlanta store earlier this year.

However, the union withdrew its petition a week before the planned vote in May, citing alleged misconduct by the firm.

READ MORE: AMAZON ORDERED TO STOP ANTI-UNION TACTICS AGAINST STAFF

CWA said: “Apple executives think the rules don’t apply to them.

“Holding an illegal forced captive audience meeting is not only union-busting, but an example of psychological warfare. 

“We commend the NLRB for recognizing captive audience meetings for exactly what they are: a direct violation of labor rights.”

This year, Apple, the world’s most valuable firm, has faced an unprecedented surge of union activity at its retail stores.

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Staff from several of Apple’s near 270 US stores have discussed unionization.

In September, an NLRB regional director in New York lodged a complaint against Apple.

It accused the firm of interrogating employees at a World Trade Center store and of discriminating against union supporters by imposing a no-soliciting policy.

After that complaint, Apple stated that it disagreed with the accusations.

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Previously, the NLRB ruled that employers might require staff to attend anti-union meetings.

Jennifer Abruzzo, the agency’s current general counsel, believes such “captive audience” meetings are fundamentally coercive and unlawful.

Her office is probing cases that could set a new precedent, including at Amazon and Starbucks, both of which have denied the charges.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg

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