Add Apple to the list of major US companies, including Amazonfaced with an incipient push from workers to form a union.
At an Apple store in Towson Mall near Baltimore, Maryland, on Tuesday, labor organizers who have been mobilizing workers for about a year announced their desire to join unions in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Workers at two other of the $ 2.6 trillion company’s stores also petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) calling for a union vote.
“To be clear, the decision to form a union affects us workers who have access to rights we do not currently have,” the organizers, who call themselves the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or CORE, wrote in the letter.
They also asked the tech giant “to pledge not to use your resources to engage in an anti-union campaign to dissuade us. We ask that you voluntarily recognize our union so that we can start working together as equals in a spirit of cooperation. and collaboration. “
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Maryland store workers, including technology specialists known as “geniuses,” are being assisted in the union push by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. IAM Special Representative David DiMaria, the effort’s lead organizer, said the group plans to apply to the NLRB asking for an election this week.
“We have asked Apple to voluntarily acknowledge the union and, while we wait for them to respond, we will go ahead with the paperwork and continue the process,” DiMaria told CBS MoneyWatch, adding that she is “very optimistic” that the union push to the shop will be successful.
“In most cases, when the majority of workers say they want a union, the only thing really stopping them is the resources their employer puts in to stop them,” he said.
Apple has not yet responded to the group’s letter or indicated whether it intends to fight the effort.
Apple workers are seeking the right to negotiate for better pay and benefits, as well as better COVID-19 security protocols. More generally, they want to have more say in corporate policies.
“They want the rights, so we’re not just solving the problem today, but so we can negotiate the problems in five to ten years,” DiMaria said. “It’s about the relationship that needs to change, not the symptoms.”
The union push comes after Apple workers at its Cumberland Mall headquarters in Atlanta in April. Voting will start on June 2nd. Workers at the iPhone maker’s retail store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal took the .