Staff at Apple’s store in Short Hills, New Jersey, have reportedly filed for trade union representation, nearly two years after the first Apple store had unionised.

Reuters reported the development on Wednesday, citing a staff member who is part of the organising committee.

It noted that other big name firms in corporate America including the likes of Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft and others, are facing unionisation efforts from employees seeking better working conditions.

Apple Store, Beijing, China. Image credit: Unsplash

Union process

Apple retail staff at the New Jersey store filed for union representation with Communications Workers of America on 8 April, Reuters reported – citing John Nagy, who is the operations lead at the Short Hill store and a member of the organising committee.

“We are inspired by colleagues in Oklahoma City and Towson, Md. who won their unions, and know that our power will grow with every new store that forms a union,” Nagy was quoted as saying.

Apple reportedly said in an emailed statement that it has “always paid our retail teams in the top tier of the market and we provide exceptional and comprehensive benefits for all full- and part-time employees.”

It should be noted that nearly all of Apple’s 270 retail stores in the United States are not unionised.

Trade Unions

But in 2022 there was a tiny change, when Apple began to face a number of unionisation votes in a few of its stores across America.

In April 2022 staff at Apple’s flagship WTC store in New York took the first steps to organise a trade union, in concert with several other retail locations in the US.

But Apple was accused of interfering with the unionisation drive at its Manhattan retail store, which the company denied.

In June 2023 National Labor Relations Board judge Lauren Esposito ruled that Apple broke American employment law in an “unprecedented manner” at its World Trade Center store.

In June 2022, an Apple store near Baltimore, Maryland became the first Apple location to unionise. A second followed in Oklahoma City.

Staff at Apple Store in Towson, Maryland following the vote to form a union. Image: IAM

These two stores are so far the only Apple retail locations in the United States to have unionised.

Apple store Towson, Maryland

Last week Apple followed other big name tech firms when it revealed it will axe 614 staff in California, in its first tranche of layoffs since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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