On Wednesday, the Apple Store's retail workers in Atlanta became the first employees to file a petition to the National Labor Relations Board for a union election.
Communications Workers of America reports that at least 70% of the store’s 107 employees have signed union authorization certificates. This would allow workers to vote for unionization.
The vote could be held as soon as next month.
Low wages in high-stress environments
This official filing follows days of employees at Apple's New York City retail store, Grand Central Terminal , who announced that they are also collecting signatures to unionize and lobby their employer in order to improve working conditions.
"Employees claim that they face low wages and a high-stress job environment that includes constant exposure to COVID-19, and other challenges," Dan Patterson, CBS News tech reporter for CBS News said.
Apple's Grand Central Terminal workers are seeking a minimum wage of $30 and better benefits. An Apple spokesperson stated that retail store workers currently earn minimum $20 an hour.
Patterson stated that Apple salespeople "want to progress in the same way or a very comparable manner as executives or other people who work at Apple." They feel like second-class citizens even though they work hard.
One Apple store could be the spark that ignites the whole lot
Employees at other Apple stores could follow the example of one store by voting in favor of unionization.
Patterson claims that workers at at least three other Apple stores are considering similar moves.
Patterson stated that Patterson is part of a wider trend, which includes technology stores as well as companies like Amazon and Starbucks -- where warehouse workers have unified in the past several months."
Apple employees' move could be a model for other companies.
Patterson stated, "You have to believe that this vote could empower not only other Apple stores to unite but across the spectrum when telecommunications is concerned."
Since February, Apple store workers in Grand Central Terminal have been signing union authorization certificates.
Patterson stated, "It's pretty advanced at the moment." Patterson said that some people believe it is possible to vote to unite.