Apple workers unionize

July 19, 2022

From the July-August 2022 issue of News & Letters

Towson Apple workers celebrate unionizing. Photo: International Association of Machinists.

Workers at the Apple Store in Towson, Md., outside Baltimore voted in June to affiliate with the Machinists’ Union (IAM), becoming the first of 270 or so Apple units around the country to unionize. Organizers of the successful union drive have reached out already to employees at other Apple locations.


These successes in NLRB elections, with few defeats, came despite management tricks of illegally firing organizers and known union supporters and flooding shops with employees thought to be reliably anti-union, along with the predictable compulsory propaganda sessions and direct intimidation.

Anyone who thought that Starbucks corporate ownership could recognize a trend in locations going union and see the writing on the wall has wised up by now. If anything, they have doubled down on unionbusting. Illegal firings and personnel manipulation have continued even at three Kansas City locations that voted in the union in the last two months.

Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO while the company successfully eliminated the UFCW presence in warehouse and retail locations in Seattle after 1985 and in Western Canada two decades ago, has again taken the reins vowing to repeat that process. Employees at newly organized coffee shops have reported vastly escalating turnover, due to firings for violating unilaterally imposed work rules along with transfers and hires. Schultz apparently is counting on toothless enforcement of NLRB findings of unfair labor practices against the company for unionbusting to work again, despite facing an energized nationwide union movement.

—Bob McGuire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *