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Atlanta Apple workers pull union election bid

Retail workers at Apple’s Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta withdrew their application for a union election this week.

In April, employees petitioned for union elections with the National Labor Relations Board after more than 70% of more than 100 eligible on-site employees signed union authorization cards. The group, which includes Apple sales representatives, technicians, innovators and operations specialists, was seeking representation from telecom workers in America.

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The Cumberland Mall Store was Apple’s first union retail location if its election was successful.

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“Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made free and fair elections impossible,” CWA told FOX Business in a statement. Additionally, the working group said rising numbers of coronavirus infections among store employees have raised concerns about the ability of eligible employees to vote and the safety of in-person voting.

The CWA added that “the vast majority of workers at the Cumberland Mall store announced they were forming a union in April and requested recognition from the company.” “Since then, Apple has carried out a systematic and sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a syndicate. This behavior violates US law, the principles of Apple’s doctrine and vendor code of conduct, and international human rights standards.”

People visit an Apple Store at the Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, US, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer (Reuters/Alyssa Poynter)

According to the Organizing Committee of the Cumberland Mall Apple Retail Consortium, Apple has spent tens of thousands of dollars paying a third-party law firm to “brutally and disingenuously corrupt” unionism in the store and interfere with workers’ legal right to organize.

Earlier this month, the CWA filed an unfair labor practices charge accusing the tech giant of violating the National Labor Relations Act by requiring Atlanta workers to “listen to anti-union propaganda during mandatory ‘daily download’ meetings.”

A separate unfair labor practice charge was filed on behalf of workers at Apple’s World Trade Center in New York City, alleging that the company had engaged in illegal activities including “interrogation of employees, surveillance, restricting the publication of union publications and requiring employees to attend mandatory anti-union speeches” .


In response to FOX Business’s requests for comment, an Apple spokesperson reiterated the company’s previous statement that it was “fortunate to have great retail team members” and “highly appreciate everything they bring” to Apple.

They also promote “strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees,” including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave and stock annuities.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company recently said it would raise the initial hourly wage for workers from $20 to $22 or higher depending on the market.

“Our union expected Apple to give us this raise, because the same law firm advised Starbucks, and they also got a big raise when they started regulating,” the Atlanta employees said. “They’ve never taken us more seriously than when we decided to get together, and that should tell us something.”


Although union elections for the Cumberland Mall will not go ahead as planned, Apple still faces a growing push from unions from other locations.

Apple employees in Tucson, Maryland, plan to hold a union election on June 15. In addition, Apple employees at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal began collecting signatures in April to begin the unionization process, and workers in Louisville, Kentucky, are said to have announced plans to form unions.

Apple’s Cumberland Mall workers added: “We’re going to reset and strengthen our union. We can share our experience with other stores to really help them prepare for what’s coming their way.” “While we would have loved to be the first to vote, our greatest concern has always been the well-being of our people, and this is not our time.”

The letter concluded, “We will continue this fight, because the union is us. We deserve to have a voice and a seat at the table about our working conditions, and hopefully things won’t get better enough.” Need to find common ground and collective organisation. We are still stronger together.”

Apple has more than 500 retail locations worldwide, including more than 270 in the United States.