US Apple store votes in favor of strike

US Apple store votes in favor of strike
US Apple store votes in favor of strike

“The vote shows employees’ frustrations over unresolved issues in the workplace. The date of a possible work stoppage will be determined by IAM CORE (the local branch of the union, editor’s note),” the IAM union declared in a press release.

The employees of this Apple Store, based in Towson, a town on the outskirts of Baltimore in Maryland, had already achieved a historic first in June 2022, by voting to form a union, which had never happened in a American store of the iPhone manufacturer.

They have since joined the ranks of IAM (which mainly represents technicians), and their branch is negotiating a new professional contract with Apple.

Saturday’s vote “follows more than a year of negotiations with Apple management which did not result in satisfactory solutions on essential issues for (our) members,” the union explained in a press release on Wednesday. .

Discussions particularly stumbled over “work-life balance, unpredictable schedules that disrupt personal life and salaries that do not reflect the cost of living in the region,” according to IAM.

The Towson store has about 100 employees. Some 98% of those who voted were in favor of a work stoppage, according to a union representative. “Today’s vote (…) sends a clear message to Apple,” said members of IAM CORE, quoted in the press release on Saturday. The strike could take place before the next negotiation meeting, scheduled for May 21.

Apple carefully cultivates a polite image, physically embodied by its luxurious stores. A picket line in front of one of them would harm its brand image, and would be a first in the United States. The company did not immediately respond to a request from AFP on Saturday.

The American union wave born in a few Amazon warehouses during the Covid-19 pandemic has spread to other groups, notably Starbucks and other chains, but also a little to Apple.

Employees at another store of the Californian company, in New Jersey, voted against unionization on Saturday, according to Bloomberg. The union they could have joined, the CWA, filed a complaint against Apple on Wednesday with the right-to-work agency, the NLRB.

He accuses the group of attempts at intimidation. The NLRB has received numerous complaints against Apple, regularly accused of trying to discourage its workers from unionizing.

In France, last September, nearly a quarter of employees in Apple stores went on strike on the day of the global launch of the iPhone 15, to demand a salary increase at least equal to inflation.

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