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An Apple Store in Oklahoma Could Soon Hold a Union Vote

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Employees at the Penn Square Apple Store in Oklahoma City have applied to the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections, making them the third location in the US to do so. According to a press release, more than 70 percent of store salespeople, genius administrators, engineers, creatives and operations specialists have signed cards to say they are interested in being represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

The NLRB’s bar for sufficient interest in an election is that 30 percent of workers sign union cards.

The submission was previously reported by Bloombergand the outlet writes that Michael Forsythe, an employee and organizer of the Oklahoma City store, said employees are looking for “more transparency and input on things like safety, scheduling and payment.”

There has been one successful union action at Apple stores in the US: In June, employees of the Apple Store in Maryland’s Towson Town Center voted to join a union. Campaigns at other stores, such as one in New York City (which also hopes to organize with the CWA), and another in Louisville, Kentucky, haven’t gotten to the point of holding elections. Elections were scheduled in Atlanta, but the CWA said it would be impossible to hold fair elections due to Apple’s “repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act.”

Earlier this year, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president of people and retail, tried to convince employees not to join a union. Apple or our company.” (Organizers in Maryland were largely employees of the Apple Store, although the union did work with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.) The company has also been accused of breaking unions through captive public rallies and by not allowing employees. stand to draft unions. flyer.

Apple has also addressed a major complaint from some employees: money. In May, the company increased the starting hourly wage at its stores from $20 to $22.

Given Apple’s apparent efforts against unionization and the lack of elections or other public union activities, it was easy to assume that the campaign to unify the company’s retail locations had stalled. However, experts have told The edge that quick campaigns, such as the one to host Starbucks, are not the norm and that it can take years or years to organize a location. In other words, it wasn’t uncommon for news to come out of New York or Atlanta every day. Towson Town Center organizers also said they had heard of people in other stores quietly trying to run their own campaigns.

The Oklahoma City campaign reinforces the idea that union campaigns at Apple have not disappeared. Now that the petition has been filed, the NLRB will have to confirm that sufficient interest has been shown. If it determines that is the case, Apple and the organizers can agree on how the election should be conducted (which happened in Atlanta), or the NLRB can hold a hearing and make a decision on how the election will take place.

Apple spokesman Josh Lipton, who was asked for comment, said the company is repeating its earlier statement. Earlier this year he told The edge that Apple “has been fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we greatly appreciate everything they bring to Apple. We are excited to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock allowances and many other benefits.”

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