In February, Organizers Voted to Join Workers United
Some Apple employees at New York’s Grand Central Station are attempting to form a union, the latest high-profile labor organizing push in the epidemic age. Workers at the Grand Central Apple shop have begun gathering signatures to file a petition to unionize, the first stage in a union organizing attempt, according to a source familiar with the situation. The National Labor Relations Board can convene an election if they file cards from at least 30% of the Store’s Employees.
Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, is cooperating with the employees driving the initiative, and the same union is supporting the so far successful organizing effort at Starbucks.
According to The Washington Post, retail Apple employees at a store at Grand Central Terminal in New York City have begun collecting signatures to form a union. The organizers, known as Fruit Stand Workers United, declared on their website that on February 21st, 2022, they elected to affiliate with the Workers United labor organization. Workers United is the same organization that has been supporting recent Starbucks unionization drives across the country.
Organizers at the Grand Central location are presently handing out signature cards to employees who want to create a union, according to The Post. Organizers can petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to arrange a union election if at least 30% of workers sign off on it. There hasn’t been a successful unionization of Apple stores so far.
According to the organizers’ website, “Grand Central is an extraordinary store with unique working conditions that make a union necessary to ensure our team has the best possible standards of living in what have proven to be extraordinary times,” citing inflation rates and pandemic-related store closures.
Several Apple stores were preparing to unionize in February, according to The Washington Post, amid accusations that pay aren’t keeping up with inflation and that working conditions are terrible. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, “at least three” more Apple shop locations are in the process of organizing a union.
In a response to The Washington Post, an Apple spokeswoman said, “We are lucky to have exceptional retail team members, and we deeply respect what they do to Apple.” “We are proud to provide excellent salary and benefits to both full-time and part-time employees, including health insurance, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants, and a variety of additional advantages.” The Verge reached out to Apple and the NLRB for comment, but neither responded right away.
Following The Verge’s story that Apple shop staff are battling with low wages and a stressful working environment, Apple enhanced perks for both part-time and full-time retail employees earlier this year. Retail workers have also had to contend with changing mask recommendations, store closures, and a requirement to provide confirmation of a COVID-19 booster shot or a negative COVID-19 test before entering the business during the pandemic.