First Apple store union vote set to start June 2 in Atlanta

An employee arranges Apple iPhones as customer shop at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue shortly after new products went on sale in Manhattan, in New York City, March 18, 2022.
Mike Segar | Reuters

Apple store employees in Atlanta will vote to potentially form the first unionized Apple retail location starting on June 2nd, according to an NLRB filing reviewed by CNBC.

If the organizers succeed, the store would become the first unionized Apple retail outlet in the U.S.

The Cumberland Mall Apple store location in Atlanta filed for a union drive in April. In order to be certified, more than 50% of the store’s around 100 eligible employees will need to vote to be represented by the Communications Workers of America.

Organizers previously told CNBC more than 70% of the store’s employees signed cards expressing interest in unionizing.

The election will take place in person and will run from Thursday, June 2 through Saturday, June 4. Workers can’t mail in ballots. The election date represents an important step in the effort to unionize the Georgia location.

The stipulated agreement between the NLRB and Apple means that there won’t need to be a hearing before the election is scheduled and moves the process along faster, a CWA representative said.

The union-organizing efforts at Apple stores are part of a rising tide of workplace activism across the country as employees demand better pay and working conditions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

Organizers at the Cumberland store say their demands include cost of living adjustments and “real living wages” for employees, as well as increased access to career development and more diverse management.

A separate store in New York City is currently collecting signatures as the first step in the process to be represented by Workers United. Employees at the Towson Mall location in Maryland are also holding a union drive, according to the Washington Post. If they succeed, they will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

“We are pleased 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 grants and many other benefits,” Apple said in a statement.

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