Apple has reached an agreement with the New York City Comptroller, New York City Retirement Systems, and an investor coalition to undertake a third-party review of its workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining[[B]].
In a January 17 press release issued by NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, the investor coalition stated that as well as reviewing Apple’s adherence to its human rights policy, the assessment will also “review management’s practices when employees seek to exercise their rights to form or join or refrain from joining a union.”
The group of investors submitted the original proposal to the tech giant in September, in which it expressed concerns with a misalignment between Apple’s public commitment to uphold workers’ freedoms and reports of intimidation and interference in attempts to unionize.
Speaking following the agreement, Lander stated, ”I’m grateful to Apple’s board of directors for listening to the concerns of shareholders regarding worker rights and hope the company will heed the findings of the third-party assessment and take concrete steps to adopt a genuine commitment to non-interference that respects the rights of its workers.”
Lander added that the shareholder coalition was an example of “ESG done right.”
The move comes as Apple employees have announced efforts to unionize at stores across the United States.
Apple has agreed to publicly release the report by the end of 2023.