New Jersey Apple Store unionization campaign falls flat

(Source: Reuters/Mike Segar)

Apple employees at a New Jersey retail store have voted against joining a union, potentially stifling momentum for a push to organize the tech giant’s workforce nationwide.

Workers at the store in Short Hills, New Jersey, voted 57-41 against joining the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union in an election that ended on Saturday, according to a tally from the National Labor Relations Board.

It was the first union election at an Apple store since 2022, when workers at a pair of stores in Maryland and Oklahoma voted to unionize.

Since then, the CWA has withdrawn petitions to hold elections at several stores and accused Apple of illegally discouraging unions.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement last month responding to a petition to hold the election at the Short Hills store, the company said it provided “top tier” pay and benefits to retail workers.

The CWA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The union has five days to file objections to the election results, such as arguments that Apple engaged in illegal labor practices prior to the vote.

The CWA last week filed a complaint with the NLRB accusing Apple of retaliating against a leader of the campaign in Short Hills by subjecting him to meetings with managers and denying his request for time off.

That came days after the labor board in a separate case said the manager of an Apple store in Manhattan had violated a worker’s rights by asking whether he supported an ongoing union campaign. At least three dozen other complaints from the union are pending at the board. Apple has denied wrongdoing in those cases.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Workers at Apple’s store in Towson, Maryland, voted in favor of authorizing a strike, another union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) reported.

The date for work stoppage has yet to be decided, according to the union, which represents Apple’s retail store workers in Maryland.

“The issues at the forefront of this action include concerns over work-life balance, unpredictable scheduling practices disrupting personal lives, and wages failing to align with the area’s cost of living”, IAM said in the statement.

“We will engage with the union representing our team in Towson respectfully and in good faith,” an Apple spokeswoman said.

  • Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum, of Reuters.

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