Apple Workers Vote To Unionize At Maryland Store – Thursday!

Apple Workers Vote To Unionize At Maryland Store – Thursday!

After years of complaints from Apple Workers about long hours and under-staffing, some workers at one of the company’s U.S. retail stores have voted to unionize in order to tackle those issues collectively.

Apple employees at a U.S. retail store have voted to unionize, marking the first time in almost 20 years that Apple workers have tried to do so.

Apple has a reputation for being anti-union and has been accused of mistreating employees before, including during the 2009 swine flu pandemic when it allegedly did not give its workers hazard pay or provisions like masks and vaccines.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced Thursday that Apple workers at a store in Germantown, Md., had voted overwhelmingly to join the union.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced Thursday that Apple workers at a store in Germantown, Md., had voted overwhelmingly to join the union. The RWDSU represents retail workers in New York and elsewhere across the country.

“Apple is one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the world,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of RWDSU. “But its employees are being paid poverty wages — $13 per hour — for working hard every day to make our local customers happy.”

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The move comes amid pressure from other major tech companies such as Amazon for higher wages for their employees. Earlier this month Amazon announced it would pay all employees at least $15 an hour starting Nov 1st this year. Apple has not commented publicly on whether it plans to do so or not but did say they were aware of recent protests by hourly workers at its stores worldwide earlier this week demanding better pay standards as well as arrangements around scheduling hours worked each week optimally so they can fulfill all commitments without having excessive overtime paid out which seems unlikely given how much money they’re making right now so why would they want more people working there if it means less profit?

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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“The conditions that we’re facing right now just brought us together,” said Katie Christi, an employee at the Maryland store who is part of the organizing committee. “I would say it’s been a long time coming.”

“The conditions that we’re facing right now just brought us together,” said Katie Christi, an employee at the Maryland store who is part of the organizing committee. “I would say it’s been a long time coming.”

Apple has not publicly commented on the unionization vote or its plans for how to address it. The company did not respond to requests for comment from CNET and USA Today reporters covering this story.

Apple employees have often complained about long workweeks and unrealistic workloads but have not previously organized to address those concerns in any meaningful way.

Apple employees have often complained about long workweeks and unrealistic workloads but have not previously organized to address those concerns in any meaningful way.

According to the New York Times, Apple has said that its corporate culture is “open and respectful,” and that it has an “incredible relationship” with its workforce.

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That changed over the past couple of years, especially as some employees grew frustrated with the company’s pandemic response and its decision not to give frontline retail workers hazard pay during the pandemic.

In the wake of the pandemic, many Apple employees joined their coworkers in requesting hazard pay. In an email to employees last month, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple was doing everything it could to help its retail staff and other employees get vaccines for themselves and their families. It also noted that it had set up vaccination stations at all stores around the world.

However, reports from multiple employees indicated that not every store was handling vaccinations well — some locations were not able to keep vaccines in stock and often ran out of supplies during flu season or after particularly severe outbreaks. According to one employee who spoke anonymously with The Outline but whose story corroborated by several others we spoke with, “some people showed up [to work] because they have a family member at home who’s very sick,” only to find out that their store hadn’t stocked any more shots after receiving them earlier in the day.”

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In January 2020, some Apple employees anonymously created a website called BetterRetail that gathered testimonials from current and former Apple workers about what they view as unfair work practices at the tech giant.

In January 2020, some Apple employees anonymously created a website called BetterRetail that gathered testimonials from current and former Apple employees about what they view as unfair work practices at the tech giant.

The site was created in response to reports of widespread firings at Apple after the pandemic hit. Some employees said they were fired for missing work due to illness, while others claimed that entire departments had been eliminated or replaced with contracted labor from other countries.

In response to those reports, Tim Cook sent a memo to all of Apple’s roughly 130,000-person retail workforce saying he wanted to hear their issues directly. However, there were no immediate changes made by management.

In response to those reports, Tim Cook sent a memo to all of Apple’s roughly 130,000-person retail workforce saying he wanted to hear their issues directly. However, there were no immediate changes made by management.

The workers are not unionized yet.

Conclusion

Apple has been focused on the in-store experience for years, especially as more people shop online. It has added more staff to its retail locations, installed more iPads and other devices around stores and offers workshops on everything from iPhone photography to how to use digital health tools.

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