NLRB certifies union election win for Apple Towson Town Center employees

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has certified the union election for more than 100 Apple store employees in Towson, Maryland.

Apple Towson Town Center
Apple Towson Town Center


The union, known as Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), reached a clear majority vote on June 19. The vote passed 65 to 33.

Apple did not attempt to stop the union vote, and sources indicated that the company plans to participate in the bargaining process "in good faith."

According to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) website, the group will now be known as IAM-CORE. The official certification will pave the way for Apple management and IAM-CORE members to negotiate a first contract.

"The IAM and the new members of IAM-CORE in Towson, Md., look forward to bargaining with Apple and obtaining a strong first contract that makes positive changes for Apple workers and the customers they are proud to serve," said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan.

"IAM-CORE members feel that the opportunity to collectively bargain with Apple will enhance their workplace and continue to advance Apple's standing as one of the world's most innovative companies. IAM-CORE continues to organize from coast to coast to bring a greater voice on the job to Apple workers."

When originally announced, organizers within the store said they worked on getting support for almost a year. They coordinated with IAM to launch the union at the store.

It's not yet clear what the terms of the deal will be. Organizers at other stores stores have been pressing for an increase in the current starting pay of $20 per hour. Apple has since promised to pay $22 per hour.

Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien pushed back against recent unionization efforts at some of the company's brick-and-mortar locations in a new video to staff members. She has said that the efforts could slow workplace progress and potentially harm the relationship between Apple and its employees.

The tech giant was recently accused of violating the National Labor Relations Act and countering an ongoing union drive at Apple Cumberland Mall in Georgia.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 646member
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,186member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    It’s going to be an education all around for these newly unionized employees and for Apple management.  It’ll be worth watching, if for no other reason than entertainment value.
    edited June 28 dewmeanantksundaram
  • Reply 3 of 19
    zonezone Posts: 59member
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 
    FileMakerFellerbeowulfschmidtjroydarkvaderronngrandact73
  • Reply 4 of 19
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,639member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    I did (as a teacher in a newly unionized district) and it was worth every penny. I am now retired, and because of our contract, the district now splits the cost of retiree healthcare, whereas before we were on our own. (Remember, teachers don’t qualify for social security.) with the cost of healthcare my dues were a bargain. 
    mwhiteFileMakerFellerjroydarkvaderronnzonedanoxgrandact73
  • Reply 5 of 19
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,639member
    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to salaries, benefits, and working conditions at nearby Apple stores as contracts go into effect. In other industries, union contracts cause non-union shops to improve theirs. You don’t need to belong to a union to enjoy its benefits. But is the right thing to do—don’t be a freeloader. 
    FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamjroydarkvaderronn
  • Reply 6 of 19
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 454member
    This is my nearest Apple store where I do most of my business. It will be interesting to see if the climate changes.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,196member
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 
    I hear you, and I have a lot of friends that work for Apple retail and corporate. I also should point out that lately here on Appleinsider, there has been more positive support comments for unionization or having Apple act preemptively in a positive way to remove the need for a union. 

    More people here understand and empathize what it’s like working for Apple retail. They know it’s not a typical “retail” job. Of course there are some who still don’t understand how ridiculous it is to have a multi-billion dollar company balk at resolving pay issues for retail when they expected the same employees to bend over backwards and pull their ass out of the fire for releasing an OS that slowed down their iPhone and gave away batteries for $29 for millions of iPhone owners. They now are trying to fix the work/life balance issues they have had and knew about for over a decade and that sure as shit wouldn’t have happened without the threat of unionization. 

    I’m not a fan of unions as a whole, but the fact that they are so worried about it that they have moved up pay increase talks this year shows that they’re terrified of all of Apple retail unionizing. 
    zone
  • Reply 8 of 19
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    I was thinking the same thing. I hope their collective bargaining gets them enough of an increase to cover their union dues. The other thing to think about is if you poke the bear (Apple) enough they’ll seriously reconsider their retail strategy and maybe even shutter their physical stores altogether. That’s if they’re not already thinking about it. Take all that retail overhead and pour it into a more Amazon-like e-commerce experience with fast and free returns, try-out periods, etc. These one-track socialist types, rarely think ahead more than their next immediate move. Strategy is not their forté.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,391member
    These workers are getting ripped off by the union. Apple has already worked to SERIOUSLY upgrade their pay and benefits..  They wont get that from the union. but the union will. be banking that. cash. sad that people can be so manipulated - and the state labor board helps that happen.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    dbendixen said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    I was thinking the same thing. I hope their collective bargaining gets them enough of an increase to cover their union dues. The other thing to think about is if you poke the bear (Apple) enough they’ll seriously reconsider their retail strategy and maybe even shutter their physical stores altogether. That’s if they’re not already thinking about it. Take all that retail overhead and pour it into a more Amazon-like e-commerce experience with fast and free returns, try-out periods, etc. These one-track socialist types, rarely think ahead more than their next immediate move. Strategy is not their forté.
    It would be interesting to have a comparison of costs for the two strategies you outline. And an analysis of the effect on customer satisfaction if retail is closed and everything moves to online with direct-to-customer shipping.

    Apple is committed to a retail presence and the sales from the stores alone are exceptional. Over the past twenty years or so, having retail stores has also allowed the company to demonstrate its products to people who would never have considered them, provide a consistent level of support and service, and conduct end user training for technologies they have developed. I'm certain that the dollar value of these "unquantifiable" activities has been estimated with good accuracy within the company.

    I find it nearly unthinkable that Apple would give up all the benefits of its retail activities just because their HR processes get more complicated or more expensive. Or that the company would start treating its products like commodities in the way Amazon does, or treating customers like they are only interested in the technology and not the outcomes.
    jroydarkvader
  • Reply 11 of 19
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,352member
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 
    What the heck does "not always... a positive one" mean? Can you be more specific, instead of making vague, general statements?

    What workplace -- especially retail -- do you know of that is 100% positive 100% of the time?
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Will it be mandatory for all employees, as well as new employees to be in the union?
    mjtomlinJWSC
  • Reply 13 of 19
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,572member
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 

    That goes both ways. You can't just blame management, because there are in fact entitled children today who have no idea what a work ethic even is. Have you been out in the world? All you need is one extremely lazy and entitled person to stir the pot, especially if they have an infectious (poisonous) personality and bunch of naïve co-workers who "see" greener pastures in what they're being told. 

    Also, you don't have to work for a particular company to know that every work experience is different for every single individual. Work ethics vary from person to person. And expectations vary from company to company and even store to store sometimes. The managers of some of these stores might be tyrants and be the driving force of these unionizations. This happens in large corporations all the time when an employee can't relay their grievances to the proper "higher up" or doesn't know how.
    JWSCdewme
  • Reply 14 of 19
    larryalarrya Posts: 590member
    dbendixen said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    I was thinking the same thing. I hope their collective bargaining gets them enough of an increase to cover their union dues. The other thing to think about is if you poke the bear (Apple) enough they’ll seriously reconsider their retail strategy and maybe even shutter their physical stores altogether. That’s if they’re not already thinking about it. Take all that retail overhead and pour it into a more Amazon-like e-commerce experience with fast and free returns, try-out periods, etc. These one-track socialist types, rarely think ahead more than their next immediate move. Strategy is not their forté.
    I wasn’t aware they were seizing the means of production. Thanks. I guess only corporations are allowed to have collective bargaining, or is OPEC socialist?  Are PACs socialist?  Are trade organizations socialist?  Is the US Chamber of Commerce socialist?
    foregoneconclusionronn
  • Reply 15 of 19
    larrya said:
    dbendixen said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Hope those Apple employees are ready to start paying union dues.
    I was thinking the same thing. I hope their collective bargaining gets them enough of an increase to cover their union dues. The other thing to think about is if you poke the bear (Apple) enough they’ll seriously reconsider their retail strategy and maybe even shutter their physical stores altogether. That’s if they’re not already thinking about it. Take all that retail overhead and pour it into a more Amazon-like e-commerce experience with fast and free returns, try-out periods, etc. These one-track socialist types, rarely think ahead more than their next immediate move. Strategy is not their forté.
    I wasn’t aware they were seizing the means of production. Thanks. I guess only corporations are allowed to have collective bargaining, or is OPEC socialist?  Are PACs socialist?  Are trade organizations socialist?  Is the US Chamber of Commerce socialist?
    Not to mention that incorporating a business is itself a form of protection coming from the government. LLC anyone? 
    ronn
  • Reply 16 of 19
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,196member
    mjtomlin said:
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 

    That goes both ways. You can't just blame management, because there are in fact entitled children today who have no idea what a work ethic even is. Have you been out in the world? All you need is one extremely lazy and entitled person to stir the pot, especially if they have an infectious (poisonous) personality and bunch of naïve co-workers who "see" greener pastures in what they're being told. 

    Also, you don't have to work for a particular company to know that every work experience is different for every single individual. Work ethics vary from person to person. And expectations vary from company to company and even store to store sometimes. The managers of some of these stores might be tyrants and be the driving force of these unionizations. This happens in large corporations all the time when an employee can't relay their grievances to the proper "higher up" or doesn't know how.
    It does go both ways. The other problem is that the managers themselves create these issues when they are the ones who hired these entitled individuals, not the other employees who have to pick up the slack. It used to be that getting a job in Apple retail was harder than getting into Stanford, now it’s as easy as getting a job at McDonald’s. Who’s fault is that?

  • Reply 17 of 19
    big kcbig kc Posts: 137member
    I've been on both sides of the union thing - a card-carrying teamster for 5 years in an office setting, followed by managing the same team afterwards.

    Here's how I expect this to play out. Once unionized, the employees are "protected" - basically un-fireable - unless they really screw up egregiously and repeatedly. If they are a member of one of the "oppressed" groups - which seems to be just about everyone but straight white males nowadays - they'll be even more untouchable. What does this breed? Lazy employees. If you know you can't be touched, and that you gain nothing by working hard, giving a crap, providing excellent customer service, etc., many people just turn in to clock-punching drones, doing the bare minimum to hang onto the job. There's NO incentive for advancement, because the poor managers above these drones won't be paid much more, will be 100% accountable for their job performance, and will have to deal with the headaches that this type of employee provides on a constant basis. Nobody is motivated to do a good job because there's literally no incentive to do so. Will they be happier with this arrangement? Some will be. But those are the worst of them. The ones who actually care, want to do a good job, enjoy their time at work, etc., will be miserable to be surrounded with these unhappy people. When people around you are being paid the same you are, and don't pull their weight, that makes for a miserable work environment. I've seen it up close. And the customer experience? Will surely erode.

    Working in retail is not a great career, unless it's something you REALLY enjoy and want to be successful and work your way up the ladder to some management position with good pay, profit sharing, better hours, etc. Bringing in the union will turn it into a career for those who just want to punch a clock, do the minimum to hang onto the job, and just survive. The best people will soon flee. Watch it unfold.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,163member
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 
    Anti worker anti union runs high in America, living, accepting the sharecropper/gig life will leave you with nothing at the end of life, see the current trucking industry for what happens to you without a union. And see the UPS driver if you do have one. A company, union or a government is only as good as members who participate in it.

    Also, anyone in the construction industry working in fire protection, hvac, electrical, and plumbing, or knows someone who does knows, what it can mean to work and learn. as a union apprentice over 3-5 years and as a journeyman afterwards. (No student debt at the end, very good pay, and even better opportunities in design or sales down the road). Further, note if you are in high school or junior college and you learn how to use AutoCad, Revit, and Navis well you will have a job on the spot in each of the four disciples. (working in BIM coordination, detailing, or design as a apprentice)

    If the richest American company in the world can’t work it out? Who can?
    ronnzonemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 19
    zonezone Posts: 59member
    mjtomlin said:
    zone said:
    I find it interesting that people who have never worked for Apple even comment on this? You have no idea what it is or was like and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it has not always been a positive one. Instead of blaming people for wanting a better work environment, why do they want to organize in the first place? Apple can and should be THE best place to work not any other way. Their products are second to none and the workplace for everyone should be the same. It is that simple and in the end, it would benefit them greatly to do so. Blame management, not the workers like they are greedy children who don't have any work ethic or pride in their job. 

    That goes both ways. You can't just blame management, because there are in fact entitled children today who have no idea what a work ethic even is. Have you been out in the world? All you need is one extremely lazy and entitled person to stir the pot, especially if they have an infectious (poisonous) personality and bunch of naïve co-workers who "see" greener pastures in what they're being told. 

    Also, you don't have to work for a particular company to know that every work experience is different for every single individual. Work ethics vary from person to person. And expectations vary from company to company and even store to store sometimes. The managers of some of these stores might be tyrants and be the driving force of these unionizations. This happens in large corporations all the time when an employee can't relay their grievances to the proper "higher up" or doesn't know how.
    Sorry, you don't know what you're talking about? I have first-hand knowledge of this! So many crappy things that retail put up with are unacceptable for a company like this. While there may have been and certainly could be lazy retail people these issues are from the past not now. These issues have been here since day one of retail and since we know now that Ron Jonson filed for bankruptcy he was a crappy boss back in the day. He must still be? How does that happen (I digress)? There are more great retail employees than the bad ones I can assure you of that.

    As far as management goes they set the tone and set the pay. It starts with them and ends with them. Apple can and should do better its that simple. They expect it from their products as well as their people. They are so inclusive of people's rights but the biggest right is great pay, not ok pay. You show respect by giving people choices and that's what money does, it give you choices. Not having money forces things upon you that might not be in your best interest. In the end, it's good for everyone. Apple is a great company but they could do so much better on the people side for retail. 
    danoxronnmuthuk_vanalingam
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