Maryland Apple Store employees to vote on strike, citing unmet demands

Posted:
in General Discussion

Workers at the first unionized Apple retail store in the US are preparing for a strike sanction vote to address unresolved issues with management.

Large Apple logo suspended in front of a building with glass facade and overcast sky.
Maryland Apple Store employees to vote on strike, citing unmet demands



Despite over a year of negotiations, critical issues such as work-life balance, erratic scheduling, and wages remain unresolved. The workforce at the Towson, Maryland store, which unionized in June 2022, is increasingly disheartened by what they perceive as Apple's insufficient responses to their concerns.

Earlier in 2024, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) conducted an independent survey. It countered Apple's "Workers Rights Assessment," which was initially undertaken to quell shareholder and employee unrest.

The group's findings highlighted discrepancies and alleged illegal activities by Apple, including wrongful terminations and collective punishments targeted at union supporters.

"Despite persistent efforts to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue, Apple has unfortunately not addressed our core concerns," said IAM District 4 Directing Business Representative Jay Wadleigh in a statement to AppleInsider. "This strike sanction vote sends a strong message that the workers want Apple to recognize the need for an equitable and respectful work environment for all its employees.

"IAM CORE remains committed to fostering a democratic and fair workplace for all Apple workers. We believe this vote presents a crucial opportunity for employees to have their voices heard."

The outcome of the vote could send ripples through the retail industry, particularly in companies within the tech sector known for their non-union stance. As the situation develops, it could inspire similar actions across Apple's US retail locations.

For example, on Monday, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Apple engaged in illegal practices at a NYC retail store in 2022. The decision presents obstacles to Apple's existing employment practices.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 934member
    Strong message indeed. Unionization means your store gets shut down. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)  really know retail, so excellent. 

    Was this the location where one of the demands was mandatory tipping?
    edited May 8 williamhteejay2012
  • Reply 2 of 6
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,036member
    Those “workers” are nuts. Better get those Starbucks applications in, it’s going to be competitive. 
    iOS_Guy80
  • Reply 3 of 6

    Remember that everyone who works for Apple goes through some fairly rigorous training. There's always a mismatch between employee expectations of what the job entails and the reality of the position, but I don't think it's credible to assert that the employees who want to unionise (or have unionised) are a bunch of ungrateful misfits with unrealistic expectations. For that to be true, the training would have to be very poorly matched to the company's requirements AND to have been that way for a long time AND senior management would have to be oblivious to the situation - that certainly doesn't sound like Apple.

    Apple has high standards, which I admire. When the business practices that arise from those standards run contrary to the law it is clearly the company's duty to adjust - but what happens when the company's practices raise the ire of employees but have yet to be tested legally (or are found to be legal)?

    In that situation it comes down to who has the greater need - if the company is willing to let go employees and keep training new ones until it finds sufficient compliant personnel then the company is in the more powerful position, and at the end of the day will win. The battle will, however, cost time, reputation and resources and it will need to be conducted with scrupulous adherence to the law.

    I hope Apple is doing the right thing. Right now all the allegations are that the company is not, and if the allegations prove true then the company needs to change.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 6

    Earlier in 2024, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) conducted an independent survey.

    JFC_PA said:
    The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)  really know retail, so excellent.
    As per the article, there is a group within IAM that is dedicated to retail employees. Amalgamation and consolidation usually leads to smaller organisations becoming subgroups of the larger brand.
    ronn
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Not surprising. Unions promise the world and can say whatever they want to get employees to become theirs. Businesses, however, are handcuffed and can’t talk about the union with employees. Perhaps if the playing field was even, this wouldn’t have happened. I mean, come on, isn’t it obvious when you have a union, you are paying for two management teams? And if you are paying for two management teams, don’t you think that’s going to be a problem for a business?

    I for one, hope Apple closes the store. Retail work isn’t meant to be a career unless you want to work your way up the chain. It’s a way to gain experience that will be useful later on in life. There are so many retail jobs out there - if you aren’t happy with where you are, move on. Not that hard. In the end, if too many people choose to do that, the business will either shutter their doors, or change their ways. Don’t need a union for that.


  • Reply 6 of 6
    teejay2012teejay2012 Posts: 388member
    I checked out Google reviews for this location and score of 3.6 seemed low for Apple stores. However most in Maryland are scored in this range with many complaints about staff. Certainly low compared to New York where almost all are rated at 4.2 or higher. Our local Apple store is not great but an hour away, is totally a different experience. There seems to be quite a store to store culture difference.
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