Apple seems to be the next major corporation to witness a unionization after Amazon and Starbucks witnessed more US labor organizations in the past month. The recent victory in Maryland opened the doors for such possibilities, and experts believe there is more to come.
An Apple store in Towson, Maryland, was able to secure a victory in unionization, which experts speculate will lay the foundation for stores nationwide to follow.
For many, the possibility of a unionized organization forming and succeeding in an Apple store was impossible. Given the number of workers compared to a Starbucks shop, the time it takes to organize is just one of the many factors. In addition, Apple’s wide latitude to oppose unionization is a major obstacle in union efforts among its stores.
Read also: AppleCORE Out of Towson, Maryland, the Latest Union Organization Out of 2022
While many believe they are at a disadvantage, Maryland’s unionized Apple store workers have proved that while difficult, it is still possible. David DiMaria of IAMAW or the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers led the store’s campaign.
“These workers have inspired lots of other Apple workers around the country,” said DiMaria.
Maryland’s victory brought the spotlight to IAMAW, which has earned the interest of other Apple store employees “in all types of markets all over the country,” according to David DiMaria. He and IAMAW withheld the number of total stores represented by the workers.
The Maryland store’s union campaign started over a year ago, coinciding with similar efforts from other Apple stores across the country. New York employees at the Grand Central Terminal store are in the process of a union drive, but a store in Atlanta had to withdraw its request for a union vote two months ago, citing logistical challenges posed by COVID-19 and Apple’s anti-union efforts as reasons.
Two months ago, Apple announced that it would be raising its entry-level pay for retail employees, going from $20 to $22 per hour.
The amount of Apple stores organizing adds to the increase in union activity throughout the United States. The National Labor Relations Board released data in April that revealed that in the first six months of fiscal year 2022, there was a 57% increase for union elections.
Experts believe Apple stores will have difficulty in organizing a union. They cite the number of workers as a significant factor, pointing out how the store in Maryland has ninety-eight workers voting in the union election, more than triple the average 30 employees in Starbucks.
Apple also has an anti-union campaign that could limit or slow down organization at stores. However, experts speculate that opposition from employers could only strengthen the resolve for labor campaigns.
Read also: Buffalo Starbucks Employees Released For Unionization Efforts, According to NLRB