Organizers of the Apple Union in Georgia say it was inspired by Amazon warehouse workers.

Organizers of the Apple Union in Georgia say it was inspired by Amazon warehouse workers.

Employees leading the unification drive at the Apple retail store in Georgia were inspired by Amazon employees who tried to assemble a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, during the Kovid epidemic.

Criticism in an interview with CNBC by members of the Apple Union Organizing Committee suggests that last year’s high-profile Union Drive at Amazon Warehouse was having an impact on other technology companies, although that attempt failed.

Derrick Balls, who is on the Apple Retail Union Organizing Committee, said the merger effort at the Apple Store at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta “started last summer, with Amazon Warehouse seeing what was happening in Bessemer, Alabama.”

Union Drive’s media coverage sparked his interest in organizing his workplace and eventually led him to the AFL-CIO and the Communications Workers of America, which would represent the Georgia store if employees decided to unionize in the upcoming election. He has not met any of Bessemer’s organizers for weeks, but says he has “a great deal of respect” for what he did.

According to the NLRB filing, more than 70% of the store’s 107 eligible employees signed cards showing interest in the union. More has been added since Union Drive went public, organizers said.

If successful, the Cumberland Mall Store could be the first unionized Apple location.

Amazon has been facing a protracted labor battle in Bessemer, Alabama since 2020. Amazon vehemently opposed workers seeking to join the retail, wholesale and department store unions, created websites appealing to workers to “do it when they are not paid,” and oversaw the controversial establishment. Mailbox in front of the facility to collect votes.

The union’s campaign drew national attention and supported lawmakers, including President Joe Biden’s message that workers were making “important choices.” In the end, the attempt failed in the do-over elections held in April 2021 and again in March 2022, although the margin of defeat was narrowed a second time. Amazon employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, successfully voted for the union earlier this month.

Apple retailers have not yet faced the same level of resistance from Apple, as did Amazon’s Bessemer workers, although they said they would not be surprised if Apple now fights the union because it is public.

Organizers say they are not angry with Apple and believe it is a good company that fights for the safety of its workers. All they need is a place to sit at the table to save on living costs and input on safety-related work conditions, such as store masking rules.

“Apple will hire the best people with the most amazing abilities, ideas and ideas,” said Eli Daniels, who is on the organizing committee. “What really brought me to the table of the union was to bring together all these incredible minds to make sure that not only the numbers have so much power, but ‘we know what’s best for us.’

Earlier this week, employees at Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store in New York City revealed that they had begun collecting signatures to file with union NLRB for a union election with Workers United. Organizers are asking for better pay and benefits, with a minimum wage of $ 30 per hour.

Cumberland Mall organizers said they are focusing on their own stores and local colleagues but hope their union drive will inspire other Apple workers elsewhere.

“We hope it will be public, and they see that we are doing it out of love, and our strength to organize and organize, we hope it will really impress them to say, ‘Hey, if they can.’ Why can’t we? ”Said Daniels.

“We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits to full-time and part-time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grant and many other benefits,” an Apple spokesperson said. A statement.

Sneha Mali

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