Apple Store Workers Reportedly Withdraw from Union Vote

Labor organizers accuse Apple of anti-union actions as they back off of an impending election to recognize the Atlanta Apple Store union.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise Smartphones | Smartwatches | Tablets | Telecom industry | Mobile semiconductors | Mobile gaming
David Lumb
2 min read
The Apple logo affixed to an office building.
Laurenz Heymann | Unsplash

Employees at an Apple Store in Atlanta reportedly won't be voting to unionize just yet: organizers have withdrawn their request for a union election on June 2, accusing Apple of union-busting activity.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents the organizing workers at the Apple Store in Cumberland Mall, Atlanta, alleged that Apple's violations of the National Labor Relations Act "have made a free and fair election impossible," according to an emailed statement seen by Bloomberg. The CWA is also concerned that COVID infections among workers would limit eligible workers from safely voting. 

Workers had organized with the CWA to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in April. According to NLRB rules, after withdrawing from this election, the vote is canceled and the CWA can petition to represent the workers in six months.

The Cumberland Mall employees are one of two groups of Apple Store workers seeking to unionize. The other, organizing under the group moniker Fruit Stand Workers United, are located in Apple's Grand Central Terminal store in New York and are affiliated with Workers United.

Neither the CWA nor Apple have responded to request for comment by time of publication.

The Apple Store union efforts are part of a larger movement of labor organization among retail, contract and warehouse workers in big tech companies. While Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York became the first among the tech giant to win their union election in the US back in April, a follow-up vote in May by workers at a different Staten Island location failed to unionize. Meanwhile, a group of contractors working for Google Fiber in Missouri successfully voted to unionize in March.