Workers at Apple’s Grand Central Station shop said Monday that they are organizing to become a union, marking the first time the tech giant’s retail stores in the United States have done so.
The campaign, dubbed “Fruit Stand Workers United,” intends to collect signatures from at least 30% of the New York store’s employees, the bare minimum required to qualify for a unionization vote.
Workers United is an affiliate of the national Service Employees International Union, which was founded in 2009 after the merger of numerous previous unions.
Workers United affirmed their participation.
In an email, Workers United stated, “Like so many previous initiatives, this has been worker-driven and worker-led.” “We applaud these employees for their bravery and courage in standing up for their rights, and we will stand with them every step of the way.”
The Grand Central campaign’s organizers characterized themselves as operating in “exceptional times,” citing the continuing Covid-19 epidemic and “once-in-a-generation consumer price inflation,” however their website did not reveal the names of the campaign’s leaders.
“Grand Central is an outstanding shop with unique working circumstances that need a union to guarantee our team has the greatest possible living standards,” the employees said on the proposed union’s campaign website.
After the election victory in New York last year, a Starbucks unionization movement sponsored by Workers United has expanded throughout the country.
After an insurgent campaign won an election at a facility on adjacent Staten Island earlier this month, Amazon is facing a mounting fight from unions. Later in April, a vote will be held at a second Staten Island Amazon location.
The National Labor Relations Board, which monitors union elections, said on Monday that it had received enough signatures from another Amazon warehouse in Bayonne, New Jersey, to conduct a vote there.
According to The Washington Post, employees at least three other Apple shops are also trying to organize.
A request for comment from AFP was not immediately returned by Apple.