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What happened to the Apple store union campaign? - The Verge

Apple seemed primed for an organizing blitz like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s. Instead, after one store unionized in June, the campaign has gone quiet. Organizers say it’s part of a plan.

Earlier this year, Apple seemed poised to join Starbucks in a nationwide unionizing blitz. Two stores filed paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board while dozens more began to organize. In June, the first Apple Store in the country, in Towson, Maryland, voted to unionize.

Apple’s response was unequivocal: the tech firm hired anti-union lawyers at Littler Mendelson. Then it released a video from vice president of people and retail Deirdre O’Brien discouraging employees from unionizing. Finally, it announced a retail pay bump of roughly 10 percent, hoping to satiate workers.

The union campaign went silent.

“The temperature for considering a union has gone cold, much to my disappointment,” says a worker in Texas, who asked to be anonymous for fear of retaliation. “From my perspective, Apple has appeased people here, but the underlying issues persist.”

But experts say it’s far too early to write off the union campaign. “That’s actually a lot of organizing activity for six months — most campaigns take several years,” says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “Don’t measure it against the Starbucks Corporation — the Starbucks campaign is the exception.”

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