Retail industry eyes Apple union decision to bargain with new union (NASDAQ:AAPL)


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Apples (NASDAQ: AAPL) the decision to comply with the decision to unionize Maryland store employees is a closely watched decision across the retail space.

According to Reuters, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant will not challenge the decision of Old Line state store employees.

The company had previously tried to thwart union organizing efforts by raising wages for retail workers and offering more flexible work hours as a preventative measure. Additionally, leaked memos revealed threats made by executives about the reduced upward mobility of employees lobbying for unions. These actions, to adjust wages and hours at least, mirrored the actions of big retailers like Target (TGT) which are grappling with their own union issues.

Nonetheless, Reuters reports that resistance to the successful union vote will not be offered, with leaders instead willing to negotiate.

The successful organizing efforts add to ongoing steps toward organizing at other Apple locations, including a union push in New York and a recently canceled plan in Georgia.

However, the implications likely extend beyond Apple (AAPL) and its vast retail operations in the United States. The push to organize workers has been a key trend at many of the nation’s largest employers, including Starbucks (SBUX), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), and more.

While unionization increased significantly amid the pandemic, those rates normalized in 2021, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As Apple (AAPL) and many others face pressure to get organized, those rates could rise again.

In a still tight labor market in 2022, labor strikes and protests have increased dramatically. According to data from the Cornell-ILR Labor Action Tracker, more than 500 strikes have taken place since the start of the year, with retail and food service accounting for nearly a quarter of those actions. Starbucks (SBUX) employees alone accounted for 46 protests or strikes under the Workers United banner, according to the tracker.

Learn more about Starbucks’ battle with organizing efforts at the nearly 200 locations that have announced steps toward organizing.


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