In a shocking move for Apple’s employees unionizing efforts, a company union has withdrawn its request for an election.
Atlanta organizers have withdrawn a vote bid, citing alleged intimidation and rising Covid cases.
A vote was scheduled for next week. If successful, it would have been the first unionized Apple store in the United States.
The Communications Workers of America union alleges that Apple has violated labor laws and made a fair election impossible.
The union also cited rising Covid cases among employees, which could affect the vote due to workers’ health concerns.
The vote was scheduled for next week. If successful, it would have been the first unionized U.S. Apple store.
“An overwhelming majority of the workers at the Cumberland Mall Store announced that they were forming a union in April and requested recognition from the company,” a CWA representative said in a statement.
“Since then, Apple has conducted a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union,” a “behavior [that] violates U.S. law, the principles of Apple’s credo and vendor code of conduct, and international human rights standards.”
“We are not moving forward with the election given what Apple’s response has been and the coercive environment they created,” the Cumberland Mall Organizing Committee said in a message to co-workers at the store.
“It’s an outrage and a shame that Apple chose to spend tens of thousands of dollars to pay a third party, outside ‘union avoidance’ law firm, abandon its professed values, and aggressively and deceitfully union bust in our store, interfering with our legal right to organize a union,” the message continued.
The union said that Atlanta store organizers will “reset” and will work with other stores to prepare them for future union drives.
It was in April that organizers said that over 70% of the stores employees signed cards signaling interest in being represented by CWA.
Apple’s head of retail and Human Resources said this week in a video distributed internally, that she believed unions would make it harder for Apple managers to respond to employee concerns and that unions are not committed to its employees.
“We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple,” an Apple representative said in response to a question about the Atlanta vote, saying the company offers strong compensation and benefits.
Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.