St. Louis Apple Store employees reject unionization efforts

Julie Clover

Apple Store employees at St. Louis Galleria decided not to unionize this week, refusing to form a union in a filing with the National Labor Relations Board, according to Bloomberg.

Employees said they did not believe the union would provide “anything that complements Apple's culture and existing benefits suggesting that Apple's efforts to improve benefits to discourage unionization have been successful. Apple increased paid sick leave and holidays in February, and improved working conditions in June by extending the hours between shifts, limiting night shifts, and banning employees from working more than five days in a row.

Store workers said they didn't want to they were represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), a working group that sought to organize the store. 66 out of 90 employees said they “did not want to join a union and did not support the union in any way.”

IAM abandoned plans to vote for unionization in November, blaming “anti-union practices and heightened hostility towards workers ” while. Employees claim that IAM stopped unionization efforts after learning of the petition. “Most of the people at this ‌Apple Store‌ do not want to work with IAM,” employees said. They also said they “do not believe that a union is currently required.”

Workers said union opposition was not influenced by management, although Apple was accused of anti-union behavior. . Apple refused to grant new benefits to a union in Maryland in October, and employees there were told that Apple would have to negotiate benefits with Apple through the union.

Apple retail chief Deirdre O'Brien warned. employees that unionization would make it harder for Apple to make changes. “We have a relationship based on open, collaborative and direct interaction,” she said at the time. “Which, in my opinion, could fundamentally change if the store is represented by a union in accordance with the collective agreement.”

At the moment, two US Apple stores have decided to unionize, and employees of several other Apple retail stores are considering forming trade unions.

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