Apple employees at the tech giant’s flagship retail store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal are inching closer to forming a union, according to a new website update from the Pacific Blue Collar Organizing Committee (OC), reports Axios.
The news comes just a couple of months after we reported on whispers of Apple Store workers at several locations across the U.S. planning to unionize. Employees at Apple’s Grand Central store in February voted to affiliate with Workers United, a North American labour union that represents the interests of over 85,000 employees.
Workers United previously succeeded in helping Starbucks employees across the U.S. unionize. If the organization yields similar results for employees at the Grand Central store, it would become the first Apple retail location to unionize.
“Apple Stores in the United States are organizing,” says the website. The Washington Post previously reported that workers at “at least three other” of the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker’s U.S. locations are moving to unionize.
“Grand Central is an extraordinary store with unique working conditions that make a union necessary to ensure our team has the best possible standards of living in what have proven to be extraordinary times,” reads the website, which goes on to cite COVID-related closures of in-store shopping at Apple’s North American stores and 40-year highs in inflation.
Apple is yet to officially take a stance on whether it would support employee efforts to unionize. The company did say in a statement to The Washington Post that the company is “fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple.”
“We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits,” the statement added.
Apple is far from the only tech company where workers have started rising up to unionize so that they may push for higher wages and a seat at the table in the post-pandemic landscape.
Google employees took their unionization efforts global last year by setting up Alpha Global, an international union alliance, while workers at one of Amazon’s warehouses in Staten Island, New York, made history earlier this month by becoming the first of the eCommerce giant’s U.S. facilities to vote in favour of unionizing.