Woke unions are the next big threat to business

Last week, a group of Apple workers launched a new organisation called “AppleToo”, presumably based on “MeToo”, the movement that exposed sexism in the entertainment industry. Its main aim is to “expose persistent patterns of racism, sexism, inequity, discrimination, intimidation, suppression, coercion, abuse, unfair punishment and unchecked privilege” within the company.

It argues: “When we press for accountability and redress to the persistent injustices we witness or experience in our workplace, we are faced with a pattern of isolation, degradation and gaslighting.” 

Cripes. Sounds bad. At least the new movement will bring workers together to change that.

It will not be alone. Staff at Alphabet, the owner of Google, have launched the Alphabet Workers Union. Its “demands”, if that is the right word for them, include ensuring “social and economic justice are paramount to achieving just outcomes”, that the company “prioritise the needs of the worst off” and that “all aspects of our work should be transparent, including the freedom to decline to work on projects that don’t align with our values” because “we need to know the impact of our work, whether it’s on Alphabet workers, our communities or the world.” It could have come straight from any campus organisation.

It has started in Silicon Valley, perhaps inevitably. The tech giants have the most highly-educated, politically liberal workforce in the world, even if they are hardly “oppressed” in any of the usual meanings of the word (the average salary at Apple is $98,000, while at Alphabet the median is $258,000).

Yet it seems inevitable that “woke” unions will soon start spreading to the banks, consultancies, law firms, or life sciences, tech or media companies – anywhere degree-educated Gen Zs can be found in significant numbers.

Indeed, we are already seeing plenty of signs of that, such as the ousting last year of the KPMG boss Bill Michael after he suggested staff “stop moaning” and “playing the victim”, or the removal of Deloitte’s diversity and inclusion champion Dimple Agarwal after allegations of bullying. There isn’t yet a Union of Consultancy Workers to monitor diversity, inclusiveness and gender sensitivity, but it can surely only be a matter of time.

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Written by Politixia

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