Apple Reportedly Decides Not to Challenge Vote in Favour of Unionisation, to Participate in Bargaining Process


Apple will not challenge the results of a vote by workers at its Towson, Maryland, store to unionise and intends to participate in the bargaining process in good faith, a person familiar with the company’s plans told Reuters on Friday.

Nearly two-thirds of the employees at the store voted to join a union last week, making it the first Apple store in the United States to vote to organise.

The employees voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The IAM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple is one of several major American companies whose workforces have moved to unionise, with workers at some Starbucks and Amazon locations also voting to unionise in recent months.

Apple employees at a store in Georgia earlier this year had plans to vote on unionization but canceled the vote, with union officers later filing a complaint alleging that Apple intimidated its employees. Employees at two other Apple stores in New York are also considering unionisation.

Apple has also made efforts like making work schedules for retail staff flexible amid a push towards unionisation, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month, citing sources.

The company told staff at some stores that scheduling changes will take effect in coming months, the report said, quoting workers. The changes will include extending the minimum time period between shifts to 12 hours from 10 hours.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. A week earlier than that, the iPhone maker told Reuters it will raise pay for its US employees to $22 (roughly Rs. 1,700) per hour or more.

The Cupertino, California-based company, known for its reticent culture, was last year criticised online for its working conditions by some current and former workers.

In April, workers at Apple’s Atlanta store filed a petition to hold a union election, seeking to become the company’s first US store to unionise amid a wave of labor activity at other major firms.

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