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There’s a growing trend of employees at major companies, including Apple and Amazon, trying to unionize. Let’s take a look at some of the unionization trends across the country, the response of the organizations, and then explore if a union can really help workers today.
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Food Service Workers Unionizing
Workers at quick-service and fast food chains like Chipotle and McDonald’s are trying to unionize “at an unprecedented pace,” Eater.com reported. While these chains haven’t had success yet, the coffee chain Starbucks has. Workers in more than 100 Starbucks locations across 19 states are already organizing unions. However, Starbucks leadership is fighting it.
In addition to urging workers to vote against unions, Starbucks leadership has asked the National Labor Relations Board to require stores in the same region to vote as a group, rather than individually. This could prevent stores in certain areas from unionization if the majority of all employees at all the locations in that region don’t vote “yes” to unionization.
Starbucks also launched the We Are One Starbucks website, which urges Starbucks employees to vote against unions and cites employee benefits like health insurance, college tuition, and Spotify Premium subscriptions as ways the company supports its workers. Eater pointed out that unionization could lead to a minimum wage of $25 an hour for baristas at the coffee houses.
Apple Workers Unionizing
Retail employees in at least eight Apple Stores are also starting the process of unionization. Two of these groups are planning to file their formal petitions with the NLRB soon, while others are still in the earlier stages, according to the Washington Post.
Apple retail workers currently earn between $17 to $30+ per hour, a far cry from most food service paychecks, but workers say the wages are still not keeping pace with inflation — or the company’s profits. The company showed revenue of $378 billion last year, up from $240 billion in 2017, the Washington Post reported. Apple CEO Tim Cook could be looking at a $99 million compensation package in 2022. Retail workers at Apple Stores said Apple’s massive sales figures are, in part, a result of the retail employees’ passion for and knowledge of the products they sell.
“[Retail workers are] struggling and they’re hurting and we work for a company that has the resources to make sure that they’re taken care of,” one labor organizer told Fast Company.
Amazon Workers Continue to Fight for Unionization
Worker at an Amazon Fresh stores in Seattle are, similarly, pushing to unionize. Rather than relying on …….