GlasgowSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • An Apple store in Scotland is planning to unionize.
  • Apple store Glasgow workers have joined GMB Scotland and have filed for Voluntary Union Recognition.
  • One worker said that staff in the UK have been ignored and plan to seek more pay transparency and a pay rise.

Apple store workers in Glasgow have reportedly joined a trade union in Scotland and have filed for Voluntary Union Recognition with Apple.

As reported by Glasgow Times Friday:

GLASGOW Apple store staff are about to make history by becoming the first branch in the UK to unionise.

Workers at a handful of the technology giant's American shops have applied in recent weeks for union recognition.

But workers here are leading the charge in the UK having filed for Voluntary Union Recognition with Apple after joining GMB Scotland.

One anonymous worker said UK staff at the company have found forums "ineffectual" and that "feedback is ignored." They described a "one-way" conversation and said that workers suffering with the cost-of-living crisis needed a pay rise and transparency.

Workers in Glasgow said they have been unhappy with a lack of pay transparency within the company, having reportedly been discouraged from discussing their personal pay with colleagues.

GMB Scotland's John Slaven said that workers " have shown tremendous courage and resilience to organize themselves" and slammed Apple for speaking "the language of social justice" while offering workers low pay, unfair shift patterns, and a lack of respect.

According to UK law, employees seeking to form a union have to be recognized by their employer in order to negotiate, and must ask that they be recognized voluntarily. An employer can then agree to either recognize the union, or reject it. If an employer has more than 21 employees (like Apple), workers can file for statutory recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee. Apple has 10 working days to respond to the request. As well as rejecting or accepting the request, Apple can also refuse to recognize the union while still agreeing to negotiate. If the workers trying to form a union to apply to the CAC, they only need 10% union membership and evidence of a majority, which GMB says it already has.

Staff in the store reportedly earn around £12 an hour, although this can vary across roles and experience, and are seeking a pay rise should the union be recognized. GMB says the majority of workers are now members and they have seen inquiries from other UK stores. The body's Scottish secretary said "MB's mission is to make work better and we are delighted to give these workers the support they need to unionize in Apple" and urged Apple to listen to its workers.

In response to this story Apple provided the following statement to 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, including private healthcare, enhanced parental leaves, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits for every team member."