Apple store workers want to have a union

Apple store workers want to have a union

Workers at an Apple Store in Atlanta have applied to the National Labor Relations Board (a federal agency that protects the rights of workers in the private sector) to be allowed to hold a union election. If the request is successful, the Cumberland Mall store will become the first store of the Cupertino company to unionize. The workers of the shop have applied to be part of the Communication Workers of America organization. As the CWA itself wrote in a press release, at present "over 70% of the group of more than 100 eligible workers have signed union clearance papers." These include technicians, vendors, creatives and operations specialists.

CWA represents workers in the telecommunications, media and technology industries. "The big tech companies, such as Amazon, Google and Apple," reads the release again. “They are based on a divided workforce that denies out-of-office workers (those in shops or retailers) a fair pay, the benefits and respect they have earned. The retail workers at Apple provide critical sales and repair services to a number of customers, yet they have been denied adequate wages, cost-of-living adjustments or fair stock options. "

Those of the shop workers who decided to take the path of unionization did so to claim treatment comparable to office employees and the possibility of growth and career within the company. Sydney Rhodes, an Atlanta store worker involved in the campaign told the New York Times, "Another reason we're working towards unionization is to understand more clearly how to grow within the company." Also according to the Times, the employees said they were happy to work at Apple and want to continue their path with the company: for this reason they requested to formally join a union. On the other hand, Apple's official spokespersons have not commented on the story for now. The National Labor Relations Board will determine if there are sufficient conditions to hold the election. Officially, 30% of the workforce must express an interest in the vote for the procedure to start definitively.

Unionization in technology companies According to the Washington Post, even in an Apple Store in Manhattan (the Grand Central Terminal) we are moving towards the formation of a union, starting to collect signatures to then take the road of formal request. Organizers voted to join Workers United, the same union that backed the claims of Starbucks workers. Workers involved in the organization said Apple had for months been trying to convince them that joining a union was a bad idea, a practice known as "union busting."

The movement of unionization in stores is also part of a broader framework of claims by the workers of large tech companies in the United States and beyond. In early April, workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York officially joined the Amazon Labor Union, led by former employee Chris Small, who had protested the poor security conditions of the warehouses during the pandemic. Workers at the Atlanta, Georgia store were inspired by the organizational efforts of Amazon's logistics workers. Together with those of Uber drivers, delivery platform riders and many gig workers in the tech industries, these demands are part of a global movement that has gained strength in recent years, requiring tech giants to be responsible and transparent towards their workers, at all levels of the production chain.

Powered by Blogger.