Workers at an Apple store in Atlanta have withdrawn their request for a union election days before it was scheduled, citing intimidation from the tech giant.
Retail employees at Apple‘s Cumberland Mall store were planning to vote on whether or not they wanted to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union on Thursday, June 2.
They’re now abandoning their unionization bid, citing the CWA’s allegation “Apple’s repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible.”
A CWA representative said: “An overwhelming majority of the workers at the Cumberland Mall Store announced that they were forming a union in April and requested recognition from the company.
“Since then, Apple has conducted a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate them and interfere with their right to form a union.”
Workers at the store became the company’s first to apply for a union election in April, with more than 70% of those eligible for the unit signing union cards.
The vote, if successful, would have led to the formation of the first unionized Apple store in the United States.
Since then, news reports have pointed to Apple’s alleged anti-union activities.
Just days earlier, leaked audio recordings showed Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, expressing anxiety over Apple’s 58,000 retail employees unionizing.
She said: “I worry about what it would mean to put another organization in the middle of our relationship, an organization that does not have a deep understanding of Apple or our business, and most importantly, one that I do not believe shares our commitment to you.”
It was reported that Apple delivered a script of anti-union talking points to store managers earlier in May.
Aside from Atlanta, Apple stores in Maryland and Kentucky, as well as the company’s flagship site in New York City, have begun the unionization process.
In response to the outlets’ drive for unionization, the internet giant has increased basic pay for retail workers from $20 to $22 per hour. The increase also comes amid a tight job market and rising prices.
Representatives for CWA and Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Source: Business Insider