Apple Penn Square employees have chosen to unionize, according to BloombergJosh Eidelson. The store, located in Oklahoma City, is the second Apple retail location to form a union in the US after the one in Towson, Maryland earlier this year.
Employees reportedly voted 56 to 32 to join the American Communications Workers (CWA) union after the election was open to all store staff this week. Unions must now be certified by the US National Labor Relations Board.
In response to Apple’s Penn Square union, an Apple spokesperson shared the following statement: with BloombergMark Gurman:
We believe that the open, direct and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to deliver an excellent experience for our customers, and for our team. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with strong compensation and outstanding benefits. Since 2018, we have increased our initial US rates by 45% and we have made many significant improvements to our industry-leading benefits, including new education and family support programs.
Unions give employees in stores the ability to negotiate for more favorable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining.
Earlier this week, Apple announced plans to offer retail employees additional education benefits and increased healthcare coverage in some states, but it was reported that unionized employees at Towson stores will not automatically receive these benefits and will have to negotiate through unions. them, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), as part of their collective bargaining agreement with Apple.
Apple’s head of retail Deirdre O’Brien has been trying to prevent store employees from unionizing in videos that were played during company meetings, and Apple has been accused of anti-union tactics over the past few months. The vote to unionize at an Apple store in Atlanta was withdrawn earlier this year after Apple reportedly hinted at staff there.
Apple has increased starting pay, increased benefits, and addressed several other workplace issues over the past year amid union efforts.
Apple has more than 270 retail stores in the US and more than 520 worldwide.
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