Today Apple retail workers at the Apple Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta, Georgia filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, becoming the first group of Apple retail workers in the United States to seek formal recognition for their union. The workers will be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
The newly formed union includes Apple salespeople, technicians, creatives, and operations specialists. Currently over 70% of the group of more than 100 eligible workers have signed union authorization cards.
“A number of us have been here for many years, and we don’t think you stick at a place unless you love it. Apple is a profoundly positive place to work, but we know that the company can better live up to their ideals and so we’re excited to be joining together with our coworkers to bring Apple to the negotiating table and make this an even better place to work,” said Derrick Bowles, Apple Genius worker and union member.
CWA represents workers throughout the telecommunications, media and tech industries, including tens of thousands at AT&T Mobility retail stores across the country. Last week, Verizon workers at retail stores in the Seattle area who organized with CWA won their union election, and a string of successful union organizing efforts by workers at Google Fiber, Starbucks, REI and other companies demonstrate the growing demand by retail workers to be treated with respect and to have a voice on the job.
Big tech corporations like Apple, Google and Amazon rely on a split workforce that denies out of office workers the equitable pay, benefits and respect they have earned. Retail workers at Apple provide critical sales and repair services to a range of customers, yet have been denied a living wage, cost of living adjustments or equitable stock options.
“We work hard at Apple because we really believe in the products and the company and we want to make sure that every Apple worker is able to afford quality housing and basic living expenses. We are proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our coworkers and look forward to working with Apple to build an even better company for workers, consumers and for Apple itself,” said Elli Daniels, Product Zone worker Apple and union member.
“We welcome the workers who are organizing at Apple and call on the company’s management to reject union busting tactics so that they can vote without interference or intimidation. 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.” said Ed Barlow, President of CWA Local 3204 in Atlanta.