Employees at an Apple
The vote is a defeat for Apple, which has opposed unionization efforts around the country. It’s a win for Communications Workers of America, which now represents the workers at an Apple store after separate unionization efforts at stores in Georgia and New York City stalled.
The tally was 56 votes in favor and 32 opposed. Approximately 94 employees were eligible to join CWA. Voting took place earlier this week.
“The Penn Square Apple retail workers are an amazing addition to our growing labor movement, and we are thrilled to welcome them as CWA members,” CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens said in a statement.
“We believe the open, direct and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to provide an excellent experience for our customers, and for our teams,” Apple said in a statement, adding that since 2018 it’s increased its starting wages in the U.S. by 45%.
The National Labor Relations Board will certify the votes in the coming week. After that, Apple is required to bargain with the union over working conditions.
Apple has opposed the store, according to a CWA filing earlier this month, which alleged that Apple management held anti-union meetings and threatened to withhold perks from stores that unionized.
Apple’s first unionized U.S. store, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Maryland, is preparing to begin formal negotiations with Apple. According to Bloomberg News, Apple told staff there that it would not get some perks such as tuition pre-payment or access to online courses, because it would need to be negotiated with the union.
Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, reporting over $365 billion in global sales in 2021.