Home Tech Apple store workers vote to authorize first strike over delays in negotiation

Apple store workers vote to authorize first strike over delays in negotiation

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Apple store workers vote to authorize first strike over delays in negotiation

Workers at the first Apple store in the United States to unionize, in Towson, Maryland, voted to authorize a strike, as progress in negotiating a first contract has stalled.

They could be the first workers at an Apple retail store to go on strike.

The Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (IAM Core) of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) represents 100 Apple Store workers whose union election victory was certified in May 2022. They are one of two Apple Stores in the US they have successfully unionized, the other being a location in Oklahoma City.

David DiMaria, lead organizer for the machinists union at the Towson Apple store, said the strike authorization vote is the first step in the process before a strike sanction vote.

“We have more negotiation dates coming up,” DiMaria said. “Let’s go to the table. We expect the company to negotiate in good faith, but frankly what we’ve seen over the last year is that they really haven’t and we’re bringing charges based on them not meeting their obligation. Under federal law, negotiate in good faith with the union.”

DiMaria said the union expects Apple to follow federal labor law and comply with its own corporate policy code of conduct, and that over the past year of negotiations there hasn’t been much progress on key issues for a first contract.

Earlier this year, the union held a survey of Apple workers in response to the company’s workers’ rights review, where workers alleged that the company had retaliated against workers for trying to unionize and had asked Apple to sever its relationship with avoidance consultants union.

Workers are pushing for higher wages, improvements in work-life balance and fair scheduling practices in a first contract, while tentative agreements Agreements have been reached on several other issues.

“Apple has a certain image, it has a code of conduct for suppliers that recognizes the right of employees to organize, it has its own code of conduct on human rights. And their behavior is simply a 180 degree turn from what their political practice intends to say. So they really don’t live up to their creed, their policies, their code of conduct. It’s just really disappointing,” DiMaria added. “This really now falls to the board of directors. If Apple is not going to do the right thing, it is because the board of directors of this company has not pressured the CEO to simply follow the law. And that’s really all we ask: comply with the law.”

Amid an uptick in union organizing efforts among its workers, Apple has faced numerous allegations of unfair labor practices filed with the National Labor Relations Board over its union opposition.

Four unfair labor practice charges are currently pending before administrative law judges after regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued complaints that found merit in the charges. One of the complaints issued in November 2023, emerged from the Towson, Maryland store, alleging that Apple provided benefits to non-union workers while withholding them from union members at the store.

four settlements A settlement has been reached with Apple covering five counts of unfair labor practices.

On May 6, the NLRB sustained a ruling by an administrative law judge that found that Apple illegally questioned workers and confiscated and banned union brochures from the World Trade Center Apple store.

“At Apple, we work hard to provide a great experience for our retail team members and empower them to deliver exceptional service to our customers. We deeply value our team members and are proud to provide them with industry-leading compensation and exceptional benefits. As always, we will communicate with the union that represents our team in Towson respectfully and in good faith,” an Apple spokesperson said about the strike vote.

They added of the unfair labor practice charges and the NLRB complaint issued in November 2023: “We strongly deny these claims and look forward to providing the full set of facts to the NLRB.”

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