Apple retail employees in Atlanta, Georgia are filing for their first union election on Wednesday, Bloomberg Law reports. The move follows a similar push at the Grand Central Terminal store in New York City.
Cumberland — Bloomberg writes that 70 percent of the store workers at Apple’s Cumberland Mall location in Atlanta signed union cards, and the future union could represent as many as 107 total employees.
Apple Store employees in Atlanta are paid around $20 per hour to start — which is above the mean national retail wage according to BLS statistics — but the future Cumberland union intends on starting their negotiating at $28 an hour to address increased costs of living. The ultimate goal is to join the Communication Workers of America.
Cumberland workers cite the ongoing labor movement happening at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama as the main inspiration for their union drive — an immediate side effect of the still unresolved labor fight there.
Grand Central — Workers at the Grand Central Terminal Apple Store have begun taking similar steps towards unionization, organizing as Fruit Stand Workers United. Employees have already begun collecting signatures, according to the The Washington Post, and have published a list of demands and explanation for why workers need the nascent union.
Their requests include a $30 per hour minimum wage, improved benefits, and research into the health effects of working in Grand Central Station.
Something in the air — Following the tremendous success of worker organizing at Starbucks and Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, it make sense employees from other companies would want to try something similar.
The pandemic hasn’t made work easier for anyone, and while Apple’s corporate employees have taken limited steps to organize without forming a proper union, retail workers could make history. Hopefully further helping to breakdown Big Tech’s resistance to America’s resurgent labor movement.