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First US Apple Store union election set for June 2nd in Atlanta

Workers are attempting to organize with the CWA

The workers have reached an agreement with the company and set a date.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple Store employees in Atlanta have reached an agreement with the company to hold a union election on June 2nd, according to a copy of the stipulated election agreement obtained by The Verge. The news is an important step forward in the worker-led effort to organize with the Communications Workers of America.

If the drive is successful, the Cumberland Mall location will be the first unionized Apple retail location in the US. In April, it became the first Apple retail location to file for a union election in the US. Workers at the Grand Central Terminal store in New York have also launched a union drive, as have workers at the Towson Town Center store in Maryland.

Apple pushed to hold the vote in July, according to a source familiar with the situation. The CWA opposed the later election date, as the move could have given Apple more time to dissuade workers from unionizing. While Apple hasn’t officially said it is against workers organizing, the company is working with anti-union lawyers from Littler Mendelson, the same firm used by companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s.

Last month, organizers posted a letter explaining their vision for what working at the company should be like, including specific changes they wanted Apple to make. They explained that they’re looking for a variety of improvements, such as better compensation (including cost of living adjustments to pay), better career development options for retail workers, and enforcement of health and safety protocols, especially around COVID. You can read the letter in its entirety here.

Voting will begin on June 2nd and end on June 4th. The election will be in person, meaning workers cannot mail in ballots. All regular full- and part-time employees, roughly 100 people in total, will be able to vote in the election. Roughly 70 percent have signed authorization cards in support of the union, according to The New York Times.