An employee arranges Apple iPhones as customer shop at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue shortly after new products went on sale in Manhattan, in New York City, March 18, 2022.
Mike Segar | Reuters
An Apple retail store in the Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, has filed for a union election, the Communications Workers of America announced on Wednesday. The National Labor Relations Board confirmed that it had received the petition.
It’s the first union election filing at an Apple store and is seen as a milestone development in employee efforts to unionize the tech giant’s retail workforce and to negotiate for better pay and benefits.
Over 70% of the store’s more than 100 eligible employees have signified interest in unionizing, according to a press release.
Organizers are asking for base wages of $28 per hour, larger raises to offset inflation, and profit-sharing options for retail employees, according to Bloomberg Law, which first reported the election filing.
If over 50% of the eligible workers vote for the union, the store would become the first unionized Apple retail outlet.
A separate store in New York City is seeking representation from Workers United and is currently collecting signatures.
The union-organizing efforts at Apple are part of a rising tide of workplace activism across the country as employees seek better pay and working conditions amid a labor shortage and rising inflation. What’s more, the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred front-line workers to reexamine the risks and benefits of their jobs.
Elsewhere, Amazon workers voted to form a union at a Staten Island warehouse earlier this month, and Starbucks locations across the country have voted to unionize in the past month.
Apple retail employee salaries start at $20 per hour, a company spokesman told CNBC.
“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,” an Apple spokesman said in a statement.