At a Second Apple Store, Workers Vote to Unionize

Labor movement has been gaining strength since pandemic hit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2022 2:10 PM CDT
At a Second Apple Store, Workers Vote to Unionize
Apple employees talk with customers at the Apple Fifth Avenue store last month in New York.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma City have voted to unionize, marking the second unionized Apple store in the US in a matter of months, according to the federal labor board. The vote on Friday signaled another win for the labor movement, which has been gaining momentum since the pandemic, the AP reports. Fifty-six workers at the store, located at Oklahoma City's Penn Square Mall, voted to be represented by the Communications Workers of America, while 32 voted against it, according to a preliminary tally by National Labor Relations Board. The approximate number of eligible voters was 95, the board said.

The labor board said Friday that both parties have five business days to file objections to the election. If no objections are filed, the results will be certified, and the employer must begin bargaining in good faith with the union. The union victory follows a vote to unionize an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, in June. That effort was spearheaded by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Maryland, which is preparing to begin formal negotiations. In a statement Saturday, Apple said, "We believe the open, direct and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to provide an excellent experience for our customers, and for our teams." The Communications Workers of America could not be immediately reached for comment.

Worker discontent has invigorated the labor movements at several major companies in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered tensions over sick leave policies, scheduling, and other issues. In a surprise victory, Amazon workers at a Staten Island, New York, warehouse voted in favor of unionizing in April, though similar efforts at other warehouses so far have been unsuccessful. Voting for an Amazon facility near Albany, New York, began on Wednesday and is expected go through Monday. Well over 200 US Starbucks stores have voted to unionize over the past year, according to the NLRB.

(More Apple stories.)

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