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Have you heard the news?
Workers at Apple Stores in the United States are organizing, and you could be part of that effort at Grand Central. Workers have the right under the law to organize to demand better wages, benefits, and working conditions from Apple.
Grand Central is an extraordinary store with unique working conditions that make a union necessary to ensure our team has the best possible standards of living in what have proven to be extraordinary times with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and once-in-a-generation consumer price inflation.
A Union at Grand Central will provide job security through a negotiated “for cause” provision; it will provide additional resources to all workers such as mortgage financing; but most of all, it will fulfill three pillars we always sought during this movement: better pay for all covered workers, more robust benefits, and a thorough analysis of our work conditions, mainly relating to health and safety.
For pay, we seek a minimum $30 for all workers, built up on a matrix based on role, tenure, and performance. For benefits, we seek more robust changes, like increased tuition reimbursement, faster accrued and more vacation time, and better retirement options, including higher match rates for 401(k) and enrollment into pension plans. For health and safety, we look to conduct research into security protocols with customer interactions, and research into track dust, health effects from building materials, and noise pollution at Grand Central.
Whatever doesn’t get negotiated will be deferred to Apple. This union effort does not plan to negotiate for changes to our hiring, promotion and transfer policies, nor does it plan to negotiate changes to the time and attendance policy. That said, if those policies do not go into the contract, they remain the same as they were. If Apple attempts to negotiate stricter time and attendance policies simply because we decided to come together and unionize, the NLRB would likely view this as retaliation and prevent Apple from implementing such policies.
The Organizing Committee (OC) at Grand Central voted by majority on Monday February 21st, 2022 to affiliate with Workers United, which had addressed the OC the night before at a virtual meeting. At the time of that vote, the OC was made up of approximately 10% of our team from across many roles.
Workers United is the same union supporting the current movement to organize Starbucks stores across the country. That movement is organized by and led by baristas not union bureaucrats. Workers United has proved to us they believe worker empowerment is at the heart of a successful union campaign.
To start, no dues will be collected until a contract is voted on and put in place.
That said, Workers United's due structure is as follows: minimum 2.0% gross pay up to a maximum 2.5% gross pay per paycheck with a monthly cap at $44. This is equivalent to $528 per year or $0.25 an hour for full-timers or a $0.50 an hour for part-timers. We intend to demand much greater raises than $0.50 for everyone in a collective bargaining agreement with Apple.
Workers United explains in detail what dues pay for on their web site.
In addition, members of Workers United have access to unique benefits Apple does not offer, such as access to low downpayment (5%) mortgages up to $500,000. This could allow more of our team to become first-time homeowners.
If Workers United's explanation of dues and what they pay for does not answer your questions, please reach out to them for clarification.
Yes. If a majority of workers vote yes for the union, the union will represent the entire "bargaining unit" (non-managerial workers of our store, Grand Central). Even if you voted no against a union, you would be a member of the bargaining unit, and you would receive all the benefits negotiated by the union on your behalf.
No. Once a union wins an election, collective bargaining begins. Apple's existing wages, benefits, and policies become the status quo during bargaining. Apple can not make changes without negotiating with the union. Once the contract is approved, Apple will have to comply with the agreement the union has negotiated.
No. Workers are protected under the National Labor Relations Act (the "NLRA") of 1935.
You can learn more about your rights under the NLRA here.
If you are concerned Apple will still terminate you, whether or not it is legal, keep in mind the following: Apple would face severe media scrutiny as well as legal liability for terminating workers organizing during an unprecedented labor movement in the United States. Our efforts can and will inspire other Apple Stores throughout the country to follow suit.
The truth is that without a union, Apple reserves the right to make all decisions about your job without any input from you.
If workers form a union, Apple must negotiate with those workers in good faith to reach a contract. So while Apple could make a case for rejecting a specific demand, they cannot reject all of the workers' demands outright. That is considered bad-faith negotiating, and it is unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act.
This is why Apple is already resisting our organizing efforts; because Apple may be legally required to negotiate with you in the near future.
You can e-mail us at [email protected]