A third Apple Store has shown intent to vote in favor of unionization. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced that it has filed a petition to vote for a union with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on behalf of 82 retail staff members at an Apple location in St. Louis, Missouri.
IAM already represents the unionized store in Towson, Maryland, the first Apple location to unionize in the United States.
[Updates: On behalf of employees at the Apple Store in St. Louis Galleria Mall, IAM has withdrawn its petition. IAM blames the company’s tactics for scaring the employees from unionizing; “Apple has chosen the route of disenfranchising its workers and their right to enjoy the benefits of having a union”.]
St. Louis Apple Store employees seek to unionize to bring back people-first culture
The announcement included testimony from an employee at the store for 5 years who expressed eagerness to vote in favor of the union to revive the people-first culture and to be able to negotiate workplace improvements with the company as a group.
St. Louis Apple store employee Daniel Bertilson said:
“I am incredibly grateful that our store team is taking the necessary steps to advocate for ourselves as we prepare to unionize our store officially.
As an employee of Apple for over five years, I have unfortunately had to watch as the culture of this company has shifted from truly embodying a people-first mentality. I look forward to voting yes on my ballot and allowing our team members to partner with Apple to achieve the common goal of serving our customers with warmth and kindness.”
Since the efforts to union began in 2021, the tech company has been using various tactics to discourage employees from voting in favor of a union like holding one-o-one meetings with store employees, providing talking points to store leaders, and a senior executive of retail visited the Maryland store to listen and withholding benefits.
It appears that none of those strategies are working as a third store has put its weight in unionize. Previously, the Oklahoma City location voted in favor of a union, the second unionized location in the U.S.
Therefore, the employees at the St. Louis Apple store want the tech company to comply with the neutrality requirement in its Supplier Code of Conduct under the “Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining” section so that employees can “obtain their rights to information and collective bargaining that the law affords through unionization.”
IAM mentions that it has already filed a complaint against the tech giant at the NLRB for violating the National Labor Relations Act by hosting captive audience meetings at the Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta to discourage employees from voting in favor of a union.