In Oklahoma City, the Apple store employees have successfully voted to form the second union in one of the company’s stores.
The decision to unite is the last movement to show organizational efforts in the technical and retail sectors, among many others.
The National Labor Relations took a tally last Friday evening.
Fifty-six workers, or 64% of the vote, at the Apple Store in Penn Square Mall voted to be represented by the Communication Workers of America.
Meanwhile, 32 workers voted against it.
88 of the 95 potential workers participated in the vote, resulting in a high turnout.
The union vote follows Towson, Maryland win, where Apple Store employees made history by establishing the tech giant’s first union location in the United States.
At the end of June, the NLRB officially confirmed the union’s election victory.
Employees in Oklahoma and Maryland said they want to organize to have more say in how their stores are run.
Some workers said their decision to join a union stemmed from union action by Amazon and Starbucks.
Apple did not comment on the voting results but released a statement later.
“We believe the open, direct, and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to provide an excellent experience for our customers and for our teams.”
“We’re proud to provide our team members with our compensation and exceptional benefits.”
“Since 2018, we’ve increased our starting rates in the US by 45%, and we’ve made many significant enhancements to our industry-leading benefits.”
Oklahoma store efforts
Leigha Briscoe, a member of the store’s organizing committee, said the vote was in line with the expectations of the staff leading the effort.
“We felt like we had the majority support, and as long as people got out and cast their vote, we would win,” she said after the tally.
Briscoe worked at the Apple Store in Penn Square Mall for six years.
She shared that workers who wanted to form a union turned to the CWA instead of the union organizing the store.
Briscoe, 28, is part of a wave of young workers leading union campaigns in the United States in the wake of the pandemic.
Union efforts at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island and more than 200 Starbucks stores nationwide have been driven primarily by workers in their 20s and 30s.
In the first half of 2022, 826 union elections were held, 45% more than in the same period last year.
There was a 70% success rate in this year’s union elections, compared to 42% in the first seven months of 2021.
However, in the 2022 elections, only 41,000 potential union members were eligible.
Nationwide union numbers
If unions win all the votes, it would be just a tiny fraction of the more than 100 million employees in non-union companies, according to Department of Labor statistics.
To date, the retail sector has the lowest unionization rate.
Data from the Department of Labor shows that only 4.4% of retail workers in the United States are unionized, compared to 6.1% of corporate workers.
Including civil servants, only 10.3% of workers in the country are unionized, about half the number of union members in 1983.
Unionization accounted for 20.1% of the country’s workers in 1983. Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma is not a popular area for union activity.
According to the Ministry of Labor, only 5.6% of workers are in trade unions, less than the national rate of 10.3%.