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Atlanta Apple Store employees say 'threats' made fair union vote impossible

Atlanta Apple Store employees say 'threats' made fair union vote impossible

According to a Bloomberg report, Cumberland Mall Apple Store employees will no longer hold union elections in June. Communications Workers of America (or CWA), the union that attempted to organize the store, says it withdrew its request to hold the election because "Apple's repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act led to an independent and prevented fair elections." made impossible."

The vote, which was due to begin on June 2, would have been the first union election to be held in a US Apple Store. Now, in addition to withdrawing that petition, that title will go to a store in Maryland. Workers at the Towson Town Center store prepare to begin in-person voting on June 15.

For the now-cancelled election, Apple has faced union-busting charges. The firm has hired anti-union lawyers and circulated anti-union messages via video messages from store leaders and even executives. The CWA has also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging that the company held captive-audience meetings in Atlanta to push back against the event. NLRB is trying to make such meetings illegal.

The company has also tried a slightly friendlier strategy to make unionization less attractive to workers -- it's reportedly raising the starting wage for retail workers by $2 an hour. While salary was at the top of the list of priorities for organizers at the Atlanta Apple Store, published in an open letter last month, there were several other non-monetary requests. These included better career opportunities, especially for marginalized workers, and greater flexibility for civic participation and volunteering.

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