Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Apple becomes the latest national retailer to succumb to the union wave

Workers at the Towson, Maryland, Apple Store made history by becoming the first such store to vote to unionize. It wasn't close, with 65 "yes" votes and 33 "no" votes (12 eligible employees failed to cast a vote). Apple joins Starbucks, Amazon, and REI as major national retailers bit by the union bug, with petitions pending a myriad more Starbucks outposts, other Amazon facilities and Apple Stores, and other retailers such Trader Joe's and Target. In other words, the union wave is becoming a tsunami.

If you're wondering what's fueling this historic drive to organize, the Department of Labor thinks it has some answers.

The DOL believes it all comes down to employees demanding a voice.

According to a recent DOL study, at least half of employees say that they don't have enough of a voice on each of the following workplace issues:

Job Security55%
Employee Respect54%
Abuse Protections52%
New Technologies52%
Employer Voices    50%

Issues such a discrimination protections, training, and ways on how to improve work came in just a hair under 50 percent. 

Moreover, a majority of your employees very well might be predisposed to unionize in the first place. According to recent Gallup poll (as reported by the White House) 52% of non-union workers say that they would vote for a union at their job if union election were held today. That number dramatically increases if the set of employees is limited to those age 18 – 24 (74%), Hispanic workers (75%), Black workers (80%), and Black female workers (82%). 

If you want your business to remain union free, you need to understand that you're fighting an uphill battle. The DOL's statistics at least offer some idea of the issues on which you should be focusing your attention with employees before a union ever starts organizing. Once the union starts talking to your employees and pushing its agenda, all bets are off. Just ask Apple, Starbucks …