Employees at an Apple store in Oklahoma City voted to establish a union on Friday, making it the country's second unionized Apple store.
The vote resulted in a huge victory for the Communication Workers of America, which represented Apple employees after distinct unionization actions in New York City failed. The CWA also includes members from wireless carrier companies such as AT&T and Verizon, as well as media companies like The New York Times.
According to the National Labor Relations Board, the outcome suggested that a union's initial victory at a store in Towson, Maryland in June was not a secluded advancement in an organizing campaign that started last year.
The final tally showed a total of 56 votes in favor and 32 opposed. Communications Workers of America (CWA) membership was open to about 94 employees. The voting was also held earlier this week. The vote totals will be certified by the National Labor Relations Board in the coming week. Following that, Apple is obligated to negotiate working conditions with the union.
“The Penn Square Apple retail workers are an amazing addition to our growing labor movement, and we are thrilled to welcome them as CWA members,” Communications Workers of America Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens said in a statement.
'We believe that the open, direct, and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to provide an excellent experience for our customers, and for our teams,' Apple said in a statement.
Employees at the store said during interviews that they earned a hefty amount of perks such as health care, stock grants, paid family leaves, and that their pay had increased in recent months. The company had previously raised the minimum starting wage at its stores to $22 per hour and stated that starting salaries in the United States had increased by 45 percent since 2018.
According to a CWA filing released this month, Apple had actually opposed the union, alleging that Apple management handled anti-union meetings and threatened to take away benefits from unionized stores.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Maryland is also making preparations to start official negotiations with Apple at the company's first ever unionized store in the United States.
Apple still remains as one of the leading multinational technology companies in the world, with worldwide sales of more than $365 billion in 2021. It has approximately 270 stores in the United States.