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An unprecedented risk of a strike at an Apple store

An unprecedented risk of a strike at an Apple store

Workers at an Apple store in the US city of Towson, a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, have already won their first in June 2022 by voting to form a union. On Saturday, May 11, they could continue to mark labor history in the US after voting in favor of a possible strike, which would be unprecedented for the popular tech group's American brand.

Also Read | In America, the first union victory at an Apple store

“The vote shows employee frustration with unresolved issues in the workplace. The date of possible termination will be determined by IAM CORE », the union's local branch, the IAM union, said in a statement. Before them, no employee group had formed a union at the iPhone maker's US store. These employees have since joined the ranks of the IAM (which mainly refers to technical professionals), and their branch is negotiating a new professional agreement with Apple.

Voting on Saturday “Despite more than a year of negotiations with Apple management, no satisfactory solutions have been found on the essential issues. [les] Members “, the union explained in a press release issued Wednesday. Discussions were particularly stalled “Work-life balance, unpredictable schedules that disrupt personal lives, and salaries that don't reflect the cost of living in the area”According to IAM.

Another vote coming in at the New Jersey store

The Towson store has about 100 employees. A union representative said 98% of those who voted were in favor of the strike. “Today's voting (…) Sends a clear message to Apple », IAM CORE members were quoted as saying in a Saturday press release. The strike may be called ahead of the next meeting of talks scheduled for May 21.

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Apple carefully cultivates a physically dignified image with its luxurious stores. A picket line in front of one of them would harm its brand image and would be a first in the US.

Read Philippe Esconde's column: The article is reserved for our subscribers “Starbucks Workers United Gradually Establishes Itself in America”

The American union wave, born in a few Amazon warehouses during the Covid-19 pandemic, has spread to other groups, notably Starbucks and other chains, but also Apple. Employees at the Californian company's other store in New Jersey are also voting this weekend to decide whether to join a union.

The agency responsible for right-to-work, the NLRB (“National Labor Relations Board”), has received numerous complaints against Apple, constantly accused of trying to discourage its employees from unionizing.

In France, in September, nearly a quarter of employees at Apple stores went on strike on the day of the global launch of the iPhone 15, demanding a salary increase at least equal to inflation.

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The world with AFP

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