An Apple retail store in Atlanta has filed a union election petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Cumberland Mall store workers, which include salespeople, technicians, creatives and operations specialists, would be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). More than 70% of the group of about 100 eligible workers have signed the union authorization cards, according to a press release – the minimum required is 30%.
If a majority of workers vote to unionize, the store would be the first unionized Apple store in the United States. Their petition is now subject to a formal review by the NLRB.
“Apple is a deeply positive place to work, but we know the company can live its ideals better, and so we’re excited to join our colleagues in bringing Apple to the negotiating table and making it an even better place to work at. work,” Derrick Bowles, an Apple Genius employee at the store, said in a statement Wednesday.
A report of The edge Late last year detailed the hardships faced by many of Apple’s hourly workers, including low pay and a high-stress workplace. In February, the company increased benefits for its full-time and part-time employees. Atlanta workers said that while they provide essential sales and services to the business, Apple does not provide cost-of-living increases or access to stock options fair.
“We work hard at Apple because we truly believe in the products and the company and want to ensure that every Apple employee is able to afford quality housing and basic living expenses,” said Elli Daniels, a product area worker at Apple.
Workers at other Apple stores are also involved in union campaigns, but not all work with the CWA. Apple retail workers at New York’s Grand Central Terminal store announced they were collecting signatures to form a union after voting in February to affiliate with Workers United. This is the same group that is working with Starbucks stores across the country on organizing efforts. Known as Fruit Stand Workers United, workers at Grand Central are demanding a minimum wage of $30 an hour and other improvements to their reimbursement and benefits.
The workers are part of a wider movement among retail employees who have felt exploited during the pandemic by companies that have seen huge financial windfalls. A group of workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island voted earlier this month to become the first to organize under the new Amazon Labor Union. And workers at a Google Fiber contractor in Missouri voted last month to form the first-ever union at parent company Alphabet. They will be part of the Alphabet Workers Union, also affiliated with CWA.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.