Fruit Stand Workers United (FSWU), the group organizing a unionization effort at Apple’s Grand Central Station store in New York City, has agreed to unionize with support from the Communications Workers of America (CWA). FSWU had originally approached Workers United for support, but both union organizations have agreed to the transition.
“The work we do at Workers United has always been guided by the values we believe in — integrity, compassion and the need to do what is best to create density and power and success for workers who are organizing,” said Lynne Fox, International President of Workers United in a statement. “CWA has a national plan that will lead to density and collective power for Apple Retail workers. It is counterproductive for unions to go after ‘hot shops’ to the detriment of the collective good of the campaign.”
CWA will provide support to FSWU’s union organizing efforts. The organization is already representing other Apple stores that are seeking to unionize, including a Maryland store that has a vote scheduled for June 15. CWA also is supporting unionizing workers at tech and video game companies, including a successful vote at Activision-Blizzard’s Raven Software studio.
CWA also has filed several Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board in response to what its claims is “Apple’s national campaign designed to intimidate retail workers and prevent them from choosing to join the union.”
Workers United is still quite involved in retail unionization as the labor union supporting many organizing Starbucks stores. The organization has committed $1 million in funding to replace wages and benefits that could be lost during a labor action by Starbucks workers, and both Workers United and CWA plan to support each other’s actions as more retail stores seek unionization.
“Starbucks workers who have been organizing — and winning — union representation across the country with Workers United’s support have inspired retail workers at Apple, Verizon Wireless and many other companies,” said Chris Shelton, President of CWA in a statement. “We appreciate the confidence that the Fruit Stand Workers United organizing committee has in our plan to build worker power at Apple. We look forward to continuing to learn from and collaborate with Workers United as we help workers win a union voice on the job.”