Apple Store workers in Oklahoma vote to unionize

Workers at Apple’s Penn Square store in Oklahoma City have voted to unionize with the Communications Workers of America, with 56 yeses, and 32 nos. According to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election, all regular full-time and part-time employees at the store were eligible to vote, 95 in total.

The election was only the second one carried out for a US Apple store. In June, workers in Maryland voted to unionize in association with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Another election was scheduled to happen in Atlanta, but the CWA called it off, claiming that the company had made a fair election “impossible” by intimidating workers.

Apple has faced several complaints about anti-union tactics, including in Oklahoma — earlier this month, the CWA filed charges against the company with the NLRB. According to the union, Apple interrogated and surveilled workers at the Penn Square store, held captive audience meetings (even during the busy iPhone 14 Plus launch day, according to a report from Public Radio Tulsa), and told that they wouldn’t receive the same benefits as non-unionized stores if they voted to organize. The latter point has been backed up by a report from Bloomberg that said Apple told employees at the unionized store in Maryland that they’d have to bargain for benefits being given to workers at its other stores.

The CWA alleged similar behavior at locations in Atlanta and New York. The NLRB investigated the later claims, and recently announced that it had found merit to them, filing its own complaint against Apple. In the run-up to the election in Maryland, Apple hired anti-union lawyers, and had executives attempt to dissuade employees from unionizing.

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