Atlanta Apple store workers intimidated by company, halt union vote
The Communications Workers of America says Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair union election impossible.
A Bloomberg report revealed that workers at the Cumberland Mall Apple store will no longer organize a union election that was scheduled to take place in June, due to violations from Apple.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA), revealed that it withdrew the request to organize the election that was set to begin on June 2nd because “Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible.”
The vote would have been the first union election at a US Apple store.
In the same context, Apple is accused of union-busting, as it "hired anti-union lawyers and has circulated anti-union messages through store leaders and even video messages from executives," reported the Verge.
"The CWA also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that the company has held captive-audience meetings in Atlanta to push back against organizing," the tech website mentioned.
Apple reportedly attempted to resort to "friendly" tactics to calm workers' enthusiasm about unionizing, increasing the starting wages of retail workers by $2 an hour.
"While pay was at the top of the list of priorities for the organizers at the Atlanta Apple store, published in an open letter last month, there were several other non-monetary requests. They included better career opportunities, especially for marginalized workers, and more flexibility for civic participation and volunteering," the Verge highlighted.
When The Communications Workers of America proposed to organize an election, more than 70% of workers at the Cumberland Mall Apple store supported the move.
It is noteworthy that organizers can petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to arrange a union election if at least 30% of workers sign off on it. So yet, there hasn't been successful unionization of an Apple shop.
The Washington Post reported in February that numerous Apple stores were preparing to unionize in response to concerns that pay was failing to keep up with the increasing rate of inflation and that working conditions were deplorable.
According to a recent report in the Post, "at least three" other Apple shop locations are in the process of organizing a union.
According to the Verge, the NLRB did not confirm yet whether the CWA's claims of worker intimidation by Apple could lead to an investigation.