Apr 20, 2022 - Technology

Apple Store workers in Atlanta area file for union election

Inside of an Apple store

The Apple Store signage is seen at Grand Central Station in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Retail workers at an Apple Store in the Atlanta area on Wednesday filed to hold a union election, making them the first Apple Store workers in the U.S. to do so, per a press release from labor advocacy group Worker Agency.

Driving the news: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented surge in unionization efforts across industries, reversing a decades-long decline in labor union participation.

  • Tech companies like Apple and Amazon have large numbers of retail and warehouse workers. Those roles are seen as friendlier to unionizing efforts than the engineers and salespeople at corporate HQ and present an opening for labor organizers to breach the tech industry's aversion to unionization.

The big picture: The proposed union will be comprised of 107 workers at the Apple Cumberland Mall store northwest of Atlanta, according to Bloomberg Law, which first reported the news.

  • The group includes Apple salespeople, technicians, creatives and operations specialists. More than 70% of the group has signed union authorization cards, per the release.
  • “We work hard at Apple because we really believe in the products and the company and we want to make sure that every Apple worker is able to afford quality housing and basic living expenses," said Elli Daniels, a product zone worker at Apple, in the release.
  • "We are proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our co-workers and look forward to working with Apple to build an even better company for workers, consumers and for Apple itself,” Daniels added.

Go deeper: Labor starts to find a path into Big Tech

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