Shoppers pass Franklin Park Mall’s Apple Store during Black Friday. Shoppers go to the store to take advantage of Black Friday sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephen Zener | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
Union voting in Apple The store at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta is suspicious after a union trying to organize retail workers withdrew its election request.
The union’s Communications Workers of America claimed in a statement that Apple violated labor law and made fair elections impossible. In addition, CWA said the number of cases of Covid in stores is increasing and could affect voting due to worker health concerns.
Voting is Scheduled for next week.. If successful, it would have been the first integrated US Apple store.
This development is a retreat of Apple’s workers’ efforts to form a union at the company’s retail stores in the United States. In addition to the location of Cumberland Mall, there are at least three Apple stores where workers hold public union drives.Union vote for workers in stores in Maryland Planned June 15th.
“The overwhelming majority of workers at the Cumberland Mall store announced that they would form a union in April and sought approval from the company,” a CWA representative said in a statement. “Since then, Apple has launched systematic and sophisticated campaigns to intimidate them and block their right to form unions.” [that] It violates US law, Apple’s beliefs and vendor code of conduct principles, and international human rights standards. “
“Given Apple’s response and the coercive environment they created, we’re not going to run the election,” the Cumberland Mall Organizing Committee said in a message to colleagues at the store.
“Apple spends tens of thousands of dollars to pay a third party outside the’union avoidance’law firm, abandons its professed values, and aggressively and deceptively unions in our store. It is anger and shame that we chose to go bankrupt and obstruct our law. The right to organize a union. “
Atlanta store organizers have stated that they will “reset” and work with other stores to prepare for future Union Drive.
Atlanta store workers applied for a union drive in April and said the organizers signed a card showing that more than 70% of store employees are interested in being represented by CWA.
Since then, Apple has been accused of developing anti-union tactics that violate labor law. CWA said For unfair labor practices filed earlier this month, the store manager held a “Captive Audience Meeting.” There, workers are required to attend meetings that include points of discussion for corporate anti-unions.
Earlier this week, Apple’s head of retail and development said in a video distributed internally that the union believes it will be difficult for Apple managers to address employee concerns, and the union does not. .. Commit to that employee..
Cumberland Mall organizers are calling for greater transparency in payment methods for workers, commitment to management diversity, and enhanced Covid safety measures for employees.
In response to a question about Atlanta’s vote, an Apple representative said, “We are fortunate to have members of a great retail team and deeply appreciate everything they bring to Apple.” He said he is offering strong rewards and benefits.
Earlier this week, Apple announced that it was increasing start-up payments for retail store employees. Up to $ 22 per hour.. In a message to his colleagues, the Cumberland Mall Organizing Committee stated that unplanned salary increases were a direct result of the driving force behind the organization.
“Because we started here in Atlanta, Apple will give every employee in every store an unplanned salary increase, thanks to us,” the Organizing Committee said.