Workers at the Penn Square Apple Store in Oklahoma City filed with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election, the third largest in the US. According to a press release, 70 percent of store salespeople, intellectual managers, technicians, creatives and operations specialists have signed cards expressing interest in being represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
About 30 percent of workers sign union cards to show enough interest for NLRB elections.
The filing was previously reported BloombergAnd Michael Forsythe, an employee and organizer at the Oklahoma City store, writes the outlet, that workers are looking for “more transparency and input on issues like safety, scheduling and pay.”
Apple’s US retail stores have had a successful union drive — in June, workers at Apple’s Towson Town Center store in Maryland voted to unionize. Campaigns at other stores, such as one in New York City (which it hopes to run in conjunction with the CWA), and another in Louisville, Kentucky, have not reached the point of holding elections. An election was supposed to be held in Atlanta, but the CWA called it off, saying Apple’s “repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act” made it impossible to hold a fair election.
Earlier this year, Apple’s vice president of people and retail Deirdre O’Brien tried to convince employees not to unionize, saying that doing so would “put another company at the center of our relationship.” Apple or our business. (The organizers in Maryland were mostly Apple Store employees, but the union worked with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.) The company was accused of union busting through captive audience meetings and not allowing employees to post union notices. Flyers.
Apple also addressed a major complaint from some workers: money. In May, the company raised the starting hourly wage at its retail stores from $20 to $22.
Given Apple’s apparent anti-union efforts and election or other public union activity, it’s easy to assume that the campaign to unionize the company’s retail locations has waned. However, experts say to the edge Rapid campaigns like managing a Starbucks are not common and can take years or even a location to manage. In other words, it’s not normal to get news from New York or Atlanta every day. Organizers at Towson Town Center say they’ve heard from people at other stores who are quietly trying to organize their own campaigns.
The campaign in Oklahoma City reinforces the idea that union campaigns at Apple have not taken place. Now that the petition has been filed, the NLRB must certify that sufficient interest has been shown. If it is determined to be, Apple and administrators can come to an agreement on how to conduct the election (which happened in Atlanta), or the NLRB can hold a hearing and decide how the election should be conducted.
Reached for comment, Apple spokesman Josh Lipton said the company was reiterating its earlier statement. Earlier this year, he said to the edge Apple is “fortunate to have amazing retail team members and we value everything they bring to Apple. Very strong compensation 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 and We are happy to offer benefits.