Oklahoma City — Retail workers at the Penn Square Apple store in Oklahoma City won their union election and will be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The workers, known as Apple Retail Workers/CWA, are the second group of Apple retail workers to win union representation in the US.
“We formed the Penn Square Labor Alliance with Apple Retail Union/CWA to ensure the soul of Apple —the workers— would have a fair say in our working conditions and an opportunity to create an equitable environment for our team. Organizing has not only brought us closer together, but it has also empowered all of us to fight hard for the respect and justice every worker deserves on the job. Now that we’ve won the election, it is our hope that management will come to the table so that we may collectively work towards building a company that prioritizes workers over profit and encourages employees to thrive. We were inspired when workers in Atlanta, Maryland, and New York announced their organizing efforts and we hope that our success will inspire our colleagues nationwide.” said Charity Lassiter, Technical expert and member of Apple Retail Union/CWA
In April 2022, Apple retail workers in Atlanta filed for a union election, becoming the first group of Apple workers in the U.S. to seek formal recognition.
The company countered these efforts by launching an anti-union campaign, which made a free and fair election impossible. Shortly after, Apple retail workers in Maryland made history and became the first union-represented Apple store in the U.S., despite the attacks by the company and multiple labor violations from Apple.
The Maryland workers, known as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
Apple Retail Union/CWA will represent Apple salespeople, technicians, creatives, and operations specialists. The workers’ organizing campaign was supported through CWA’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA). CODE-CWA has previously helped workers form unions at other tech companies.
“Like Starbucks, Amazon, and other corporations, Apple execs have spent months violating labor law and intimidating their workforce. Workers are seeing these tactics for what they are – desperate attempts to prevent them from having a real say in their working conditions. Money is no match for workers who are ready to claim their power,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “Apple workers are determined to organize for better wages and dignity on the job. Despite Apple’s illegal and aggressive anti-union campaign, Apple retail workers across the country will continue to organize, especially after this momentous victory. 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.”
The NLRB has issued a complaint on the unfair labor practice charges brought by CWA against Apple for multiple federal labor law violations. Apple Retail Union/CWA is waiting to hear from the NLRB on several unresolved unfair labor practice charges which accused the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act by requiring workers to listen to anti-union propaganda during mandatory meetings in Atlanta, as well as interrogating and threatening to withhold benefits from Penn Square Apple workers weeks before the union election.