Apple Store Atlanta staff first to vote to unionize

Workers in Atlanta, Georgia have become the first US Apple Store staff to file a formal request to hold a union vote with the US National Labor Relations Board.

“A number of us have been here for many years, and we don’t think you’re staying anywhere unless you like it,” said Derrick Bowles, organizer of Apple Genius and Communications Workers of America (CWA).

“Apple is a deeply positive place to work, but we know that the company can better live its ideals and so we are delighted to join our colleagues in bringing Apple to the negotiating table and making it an even better place to work. .”

The CWA filed the petition for official union recognition on Wednesday after a months-long campaign to win support from staff at the Apple Store in Atlanta’s Cumberland Mall. More than 70% of the 107 eligible workers – salespeople, technicians and operations specialists working at the mall’s iGiant store – have signed authorization cards, people familiar with the matter tell us.

Under labor board rules, a union must obtain signatures representing at least 30% of eligible employees to vote for representation — something workers at New York’s Apple Store have started to do. do last week.

The Atlanta action was apparently inspired by the first successful unionization of an Amazon warehouse – a dispute arose over worker safety and wages.

The CWA is committed to fighting to improve working conditions and raise wages. “We work hard at Apple because we truly believe in the products and the company and we want to ensure that every Apple employee is able to afford quality housing and basic living expenses,” said Elli Daniels, produce area worker and union member. in a report.

“We are proud to stand with our colleagues and look forward to working with Apple to build an even better company for workers, consumers and for Apple itself.”

Labor board officials will review the petition before Atlanta members can begin campaigning for a union election. If they win the vote, it could be the first-ever US Apple Store to unionize.

“We salute workers organizing at Apple and call on company management to reject union-busting tactics so they can vote without interference or intimidation,” Ed Barlow, president of CWA Local 3204, said at Atlanta.

“These workers have been indispensable during the pandemic and the high level of service and support they provide is critical to Apple’s success. By having a union voice, they will be able to negotiate lasting improvements to their working conditions.”

The register asked Apple for comment. ®