Apple store workers are following in the footsteps of Starbucks and Amazon workers in setting up workers’ unions. Workers from Apple’s flagship Grand Central Terminal are collecting signatures to form a union.
Apple Store Workers Unionizing Grand Central Terminal
Apple store workers from the Grand Central Terminal branch reported that they voted last February 21 to affiliate themselves with Workers United. This is the same labor union that helped Starbucks workers from various stores unionize.
The Apple store workers group, who called themselves Fruit Stand Workers United. issued a statement.
“Grand Central is an extraordinary store with unique working conditions that make a union necessary,” the group said. Organizing a union ensures that its members receive the “best possible standards of living” during these unique times.
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Specifically, they mentioned the challenges brought by the ongoing COVID pandemic and the once-in-a-generation high inflation rates.
Workers Accuse Apple of Union Busting
Meanwhile, the tech company declined to say whether they support the unionization efforts at the GCT store. Apple workers involved in the union drive accused Apple of employing various union-busting tactics.
This includes issuing messages trying to convince workers that unionizing is against their best interests.
An Apple spokesperson told the Washington Post about the benefits of working for the company.
“We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple,” the spokesperson said.
The company offers very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees. This includes health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants, and others.
Apple Store Workers Are Attempting to Unionize In At Least Four Apple Stores
In the United States, Apple runs more than 270 stores for its signature iPhone, Ipad, MacBooks, and other tech gadgets.
Apart from Grand Central Terminal, Apple store workers are actively trying to unionize in at least three other stores. They are following the lead of the Grand Central Terminal workers, who are handing out signature cards.
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In order for unionization to happen, at least 30% of the GCT’s Apple workers should signify interest in unionizing. If this happens, the Fruit Stand Workers United can petition the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election.
More Companies Are Seeing Unionization Efforts
During the pandemic, many workers took the opportunity to organize union drives in their respective places of work.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of workers, especially in the retail, warehouse, and delivery businesses.
As a result, workers felt empowered to use their newfound leverage. First to break through was Amazon’s JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island. Despite Amazon spending $4.3 million to dissuade the union from forming, the warehouse workers succeeded.
Another major US company that saw workers form a union is Starbucks. Employees from its Buffalo, NY branch voted to form a union and affiliate themselves with Workers United. Now, workers from 54 stores in states are similarly pushing for unionization.
Watch the Reuters news video reporting that Apple store workers are preparing to unionize:
Do you support efforts by Apple store workers to organize themselves into a union? Will this mean better products and services for consumers?
Tell us what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.