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CWA, not Workers United now helping Apple Store Grand Central union

Apple Grand Central
Apple Grand Central (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple store workers in New York's Grand Central Station store are trying to form a Union.
  • A new representative body is now helping the store's 270+ employees.
  • Workers United and the Communications Workers of America have announced that the latter will now help the effort.

Employees at Apple's Grand Central Station store in New York will now be aided by Communications Workers of America, rather than Workers United.

"In the truest form of trade union solidarity, Workers United and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), together with the organizing committee of Fruit Stand Workers United(FSWU) have agreed that CWA will provide support to FSWU's union organizing efforts at Apple's Grand Central Station store in New York City," the CWA announced on Wednesday.

The group says that Apple's union group, FSWU, had approached Workers United, the same group supporting Starbucks workers in their quest to form Unions.

Lynne Fox, International President of Workers United said that the CWA "has a national plan that will lead to density and collective power for Apple Retail workers" and that it would be didn't want to chase "hot shops" "to the detriment of the collective good of the campaign."

Apple's Grand Central Station store employs more than 270 workers and FSWU says that through its alliance with CWA and WU it intends "to participate with countless other stores to achieve workers' rights across Apple Retail in the U.S."

A growing movement to unionize

In April workers at the Grand Central store announced their plans to push for a union, and demands to the tune of $30/hour starting pay, better vacations, and retirement policies.

Under pressure from such movements, Apple has already agreed to give workers more favorable working patterns and hours, and has said it will bring forward its annual pay review by three months and increase its minimum hourly pay rate from $20 to $22.

Apple stores in the U.S. and worldwide are pivotal in the company's quest to sell devices like its best iPhone, the iPhone 13, and internally Apple believes that retail stores are its most important product. Other stores in the U.S. have also publicly announced their plans to unionize, and Apple has drawn criticism for hiring the "union-busting" law firm Littler Mendelson, also in the employ of Starbucks. The company has also been accused of employing other union-busting tactics including sending anti-union talking points to managers and forcing workers to attend "captive audience" meetings, as well as restricting the posting of fliers.

In a statement Apple previously told iMore:

"We are fortunate to have incredible retail team members and we deeply value everything they bring to Apple. We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits."

This week Apple unveiled its new iOS 16 operating system, along with upgrades to iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and more.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.