Union wins right to represent employees at Apple Stores for the first time

historic union election According to preliminary data from the National Labor Relations Board, that ended Saturday evening with 65 workers voting for unionization and 33 against it, a nearly two-to-one margin in favor of the union.
Union organizers win Apple ,AAPL, The store at Towson Town Center, a mall near Baltimore, comes amid a widespread wave of workplace activism that has emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US labor market has tipped heavily in the workers’ favor over the past two years. are now almost double job vacancies As unemployed people look for work, leaving employers to fill jobs. Number of Employees being fired or closed Recently it has reached a record low. and number of employees to leave the employment, usually because they see better opportunities, have recently hit record highs. This has made employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs more willing to demand better working conditions, including unionisation.
Saturday’s vote marks a major victory for retail employees at Apple, which has experienced a wave of employee activism within its corporate ranks in recent months. motion Which has come to be known as #AppleToo.

issues beyond wages

Christie Prijen, a technical expert at the store and one of the organisers, said the key issue driving the event vote was to say about the way the store was run. Prizen, 34, said she has worked at the store for more than 8 years.

,Compensation It is important to consider the cost of living in general and inflationBut the big thing is saying,” she told CNN Business Saturday night after voting. “That was the most important thing to me.”

Prijen said workers calling in hours and being involved in scheduling and establishing safety protocols during the pandemic were big issues.

“We want to have our say in the policies that affect our lives,” she said, adding that she was not surprised by the outcome of the vote, but was relieved.

“I knew I was not alone in being disappointed,” she said. About whether she thought about leaving Apple for another job, she said she felt like her coworkers were kind of family.

“I’m not ready to go here because of the relationship with the teammates,” she said.

One Apple ,AAPL, The spokesperson declined to comment on the vote.

“We are fortunate to have an incredible retail team member and we greatly value what we bring to Apple,” the company said in a statement ahead of the vote. “We are pleased to offer very robust compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits.”

The union that wins the vote is called the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or AppleCORE for short. It was supported by the larger International Association of Machinists, known for the strength of production workers at Boeing, as well as many employees in the US airline industry.

“I appreciate the courage displayed by core members at the Apple Store in Towson to achieve this historic victory,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez. “He made a huge sacrifice for the thousands of Apple employees across the country who were watching this election.”

Apple Store vote comes after April 1 Union Wins Over Amazon Distribution Center In Staten Island, New York, the first heroine ,AMZN, Facility to vote in favor of the union. There has also been a series of Union Wins at Starbucks Stores nationwide since the end of last year.

Difficult to win union votes

Still, it is an uphill battle for unions to win the organized vote. Even with all the successful votes starbucks ,SBUX, The store, the union, has won the rights to represent only about 5,000 of the 235,000 employees at Starbucks’ 9,000 US company-owned stores. The Amazon distribution center in Staten Island had approximately 8,300 employees, while the company has more than 1 million US employees overall.
The victory over the Apple Store in Maryland comes after union supporters withdrew at an Apple Store in Atlanta Vote request. Union is winning over the Staten Island Amazon location challenged by the company, and it followed a failed attempt by a separate consortium to represent an Amazon distribution center in Alabama. later became one union loss At a nearby Amazon facility, also on Staten Island.
Management often pressures employees to vote against a union, arguing that if there was a union it would be more difficult to address working conditions concerns, or that employees would be paid less and if they did not. If they vote to get organized, they will have to pay the union dues. For example, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Increase in salary of most US employees of the company It will not apply to employees working at stores who have voted for the union, saying a potential pay increase would now be under negotiation.
Workers may also be concerned that a company might close a position One who votes for a union while keeping the others open. Ithaca, New York, Starbucks Store Employees Claim Their Location Be closed Because of the successful effort of the union. The company denies that the union vote is the reason for the shutdown plans, but the union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint.

As a result of management’s gains in defeating unionization efforts, the percentage of US workers unionized fell to 10.3% in 2021, from 20.1% in 1983. About half of union members work for some level of government. Overall, only 6.1% of private sector employees are union members, of whom 4.4% are retail workers, most of them at kirana stores.