Apple Store employees in Atlanta withdraw union vote request: report
- Reports said a working group seeking to represent Apple Store workers in Atlanta has withdrawn its application for a union vote, citing intimidation.
- The vote, scheduled for June 2, could have ushered in the first unionized Apple Store in the United States.
- The decision comes days after an audio leak showed a top Apple executive expressing concern about unionization for the company’s retail employees.
Workers at an Apple Store in Atlanta reportedly withdrew their application for a union vote just days before it was due, citing alleged intimidation by the tech giant.
Retail employees at Apple’s Cumberland Mall store location were due to vote on June 2 on whether or not they want to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Now, they’re giving up trying to join unions, along with claims from the CWA that “Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made free and fair elections impossible,” Bloomberg reports.
“The vast majority of workers at the Cumberland Mall store announced they were forming a union in April and requested recognition from the company,” a CWA representative said in a statement, according to CNBC. “Since then, Apple has carried out a systematic and sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union.”
In April, shop workers became the first to apply for union elections in the company, with more than 70% of workers eligible for union cards. If the vote is successful, it will herald the launch of the first unified Apple Store in the United States.
At the time since then, news reports have pointed to allegations of anti-union tactics by Apple.
Just days ago, leaked audio recordings showed Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and personnel, expressing concern about joining a union with 58,000 Apple retail employees.
“I am concerned about what it might mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship, an organization that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business and, more importantly, an organization that I do not believe shares our commitment to you,” O’Brien said, according to Vice, who published part of the filing. .
Earlier in May, Vice also reported that Apple sent a script of anti-union talking points to store managers.
Besides Atlanta, Apple Stores in Maryland and Kentucky, as well as the company’s main New York City location, have also begun the process of pursuing unions.
The tech giant raised the base wage for retail workers from $20 to $22 an hour amid stores pressure to create unions, according to a memo seen by The Wall Street Journal and CNBC. The increase also comes on the back of a hot labor market and rising inflation.
CWA and Apple representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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