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Office Hours

Posts tagged: Apple Inc.

Apple isn’t really too keen on letting store workers unionize

Apple's retail stores seem a happy place. Unless you believe in unionizing the workers who toil there, in which case Apple may not be “liking” your Facebook page.

In response to at least one serious effort to create a union for Apple store workers, the Cupertino head office sent out notices this week and asked store managers to take part in a training course today, Tuesday.

A CNET story lays out the key goal of the training: “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.”
 
That note suggests this has been an ongoing concern, and that perhaps the effort that started back in May has only mildly reignited the need to make sure managers are on the same corporate page.
 
Another CNET story noted that a website calling itself Appleretailunion.com posted this explanation: “The group said wages are the big target, as are Apple's break schedules, training opportunities,” and “the selection and hiring process for internal candidates for open positions.”
 
Photo credit: Apple employees preparing for the launch of the iPhone 4 last year at Apple's flagship store in San Francisco.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Windows 95 was the answer; plus, Sagan vs. Apple and how that turned out

We have a winner. Tmeatzie correctly noted that early on Windows 95 bore the codename “Spokane.” Our sources, who worked at the Redmond company, say the name lasted a short while, replaced by the official codename “Chicago.”

We gathered up this other odd little tidbit in our research: all the rest of this explanation is taken from the Wikipedia entry on Apple Inc. litigation.

In 1994, engineers at Apple Computer code-named the mid-level Power Macintosh 7100Carl Sagan” after the popular astronomer in the hope that Apple would make “billions and billions” with the sale of the PowerMac 7100. The name was only used internally, but Sagan was concerned that it would become a product endorsement and sent Apple a cease and desist letter.

Apple complied, but engineers retaliated by changing the internal codename to “BHA” for “Butt-Head Astronomer”. Sagan then sued Apple for libel. The court granted Apple's motion to dismiss Sagan's claims and opined that a reader aware of the context would understand Apple was “clearly attempting to retaliate in a humorous and satirical way, adding “One does not seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined phrase 'butt-head'.”

Sagan then sued for Apple's original use of his name and likeness, but again lost. Sagan appealed the ruling. In November 1995, an out of court settlement was reached and Apple's office of trademarks and patents released a conciliatory statement that “Apple has always had great respect for Dr. Sagan. It was never Apple's intention to cause Dr. Sagan or his family any embarrassment or concern.”

Inside the new Spokane Apple retail store

Roughly 450 to 550 people were waiting to get into the new Spokane Apple retail store Saturday, as doors opened at 10 a.m.

Here are a few photos and one embedded video to show what the store looks like.

Disclaimer: The Cowles Co. runs River Park Square, which is the landlord for this store. Knowing full well people may accuse us of overdoing coverage of this event, we’ll stand accused. Since our job is to acknowledge and evaluate events or circumstances worth community attention, we decided one more post on the opening was warranted.

Win a coffee card by guessing the date Apple’s Spokane store opens

We’ll be offering a $10 coffee card to whoever can come CLOSEST to the correct date for the opening of the downtown Spokane Apple retail store.

This photo shows the front and part of the interior, shot on or about Sept. 13, on Main in downtown Spokane.   Officially, Apple Inc. has failed to acknowledge it’s building or opening this store.

So, some contest rules. One entry per person; family of employees of The Cowles Co. and all its subsidiaries are ineligible. And of course, employees or contractors doing work for Apple are also not eligible to win.

To win, correctly name the date the store will open. As a tiebreaker, also add the hour the store will open for its first customers. For multiple winners, Office Hours will randomly select the sole winner in a drawing.

To enter, submit your name and guess in the comments section below this post. Entries must be from valid registered users of Spokesman.com. YOU DO NOT need to leave your e-mail address in the comment area. Or you can e-mail submissions to Business@spokesman.com with the subject APPLE.

Apple retail store, downtown Spokane, phase one

The company doing the construction work at the former Eddie Bauer building, in downtown Spokane, recently painted a plywood sheet black to block views of renovations inside the retail office space, at 710 W. Main.

We knew for months that this is the Apple retail store going into River Park Square. Today a workman was adding a stenciled Apple logo to the black wall. We got this image. This is just a temporary wall but it’s the only “official” indication the store is going in. Sometime in the fall the store logo will be added to the facade.

We asked Apple headquarters for comment and received a note saying no announcement yet has been made. Which is Apple’s way of saying, “It doesn’t count until we say it does.”

The opening will be in the fall but an exact date isn’t set yet.

Which retailer will move into Talbots location in downtown Spokane?

Downtown Spokane women’s clothing retailer Talbots is leaving its 706 W. Main location, effective Aug. 21. Its lease expires the end of this month, a Talbot’s employee told us today.

We’ll provide some kind of reward — non-monetary— for the reader who can convince us they really know who will move into that location.

Disclosure: We work for the Cowles Co., which also operates River Park Square, Talbot’s landlord. We asked company officials who would go in there. They were mum, as of Tuesday.

I’m guessing the company taking that spot outbid Talbots when the lease came up for renewal. Whoever that company is, they might feel it’s to their advantage to be next door to 710 W. Main, where Apple will open a retail store this fall.

Apple is taking over the location of Eddie Bauer, one door west of Talbots.


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