Last Friday, employees from an Apple store in Oklahoma City voted to join a union. This is the second U.S.-based Apple store to have done this, following the footsteps of their colleague in Las Vegas who joined 4 years ago.
The vote is a win for the Communications Workers of America, who now will represent the store’s workers. It’s a defeat for Apple, which has opposed unionization efforts around the country. The vote happened at an Apple store, after separate unionization efforts at stores in Georgia and New York also failed.
The vote tally was 56 in favor and 32 opposed. There are approximately 94 eligible employees that could have voted to join CWA. The voting took place earlier this week.
“The addition of Penn Square Apple workers to our labor union as members is a huge victory. They’re here with us, fighting for better wages.” —CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffen.
“We believe that our open, direct and collaborative relationship with our valued team members provides the best experience for our customers. Since 2018 we have increased the number of stores to 45 from 36, bringing Apple’s total square footage worldwide to 207 million.”
The NLRB will certify the votes in the coming week. Once this happens, Apple is required to bargain with the union over contracts and job conditions.
According to a CWA filing this month, Apple management has been allegedly threatening to withhold perks from stores that unionize.
Apple’s new unionized US store, the only one represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Maryland, is beginning 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 they may have to negotiate them with the union.
Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world and they just reported their annual sales to be over $365 billion. They have about 270 retail stores in America.
The Pros of Apple’s Unionization and Why It Matters
Apple is the most valuable company in the world, but it has a lot of work to do when it comes to its employees. The company has been criticized for not providing enough benefits and being stingy with wages. But now, Apple employees in Oklahoma are voting for the store’s second union.
The pros of Apple’s unionization and why it matters is that if they are able to form a union, it will give them more power in negotiating for better working conditions and higher wages. They will also be able to improve their benefits packages by negotiating with the company.