St. Louis Apple Store employees explain how to turn the union effort around

Apple employees at the St. Louis Galleria store were the last to transition to unionization last month. However, a week after submitting interest to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the group dropped the plan. An initial IAM announcement cited Apple’s “increased hostility” as the reason for the U-turn, but now Apple employees themselves have spoken out about why the majority changed their minds.

As a refresher, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) was chosen as the union to represent St. Louis Apple Store employees. And just over 80 staff members would vote on whether or not to continue with the union effort from mid-November.

A week later, the IAM issued a notice that the offer was withdrawn and that anti-union tactics and increased hostility were factors in the decision.

However, we didn’t hear from the actual Apple employees at that point, only from the IAM.

St. Louis Apple Store employees speak out

In a press release shared with 9to5Mac from “the majority of Apple Store employees in Saint Louis Galleria alone, without input or approval from Apple management, Corporate, PR or Legal” comes more insight into the situation.

The letter says that 66 of the 83 Apple employees signed to withdraw the attempt to join a union because “Some no longer felt that the union would provide something complementary to the culture and existing benefits. from Apple, while others felt they were misled when they initially signed their cards.”

The letter further states that IAM voted hastily, “disregarded the wishes of our organizing employees” and “IAM pre-emptively withdrew their petition to the NLRB and released a statement alleging hostility toward employees of Apple management led to this decision. The reality is much simpler: the majority of employees at this Apple Store do not want to work with the IAM.”

Interestingly, IAM is the group that represented the first Apple Store in the US to join a union.

Check out the full press release from Apple Store Galleria employees:

A statement from Apple Store employees on unionization. ________________________________________________________________
• The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) attempted to unionize the St. Louis Galleria Apple Store location.
• 79% of employees (66 out of 83) voluntarily signed a petition with objective evidence overwhelmingly that the IAM & National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recognize their desire for the union’s anticipated withdrawal.
• This decision was made without hostility from Store Management and without coercion or threats from extended Apple Leadership.

ST. LOUIS, MO. December 5, 2022 – – On November 16, 2022, the IAM petitioned the NLRB to represent Apple Store employees at the St. Louis Galleria. An online forum was immediately created outside the workplace, by employees, for employees, independent of both store management and union representatives.

Management encouraged us to do our own research and gave us the space to do so. They ensured that employees could talk throughout the working day, despite potential disruption to our workflow. The consistent message from management has been to educate yourself and speak up, regardless of your position.

In the ad hoc online forum, colleagues shared their feelings and experiences and compared notes from their independent research. This led to tough but respectful conversations between peers. Negotiating points were debated, but it was a challenge for the team to agree on points that could be positively impacted by collective bargaining.

During these conversations, some employees indicated that they wanted to withdraw their authorization card. Some no longer felt the union would offer something complementary to Apple’s culture and existing benefits, while others believed they had been misled when they initially drew their cards. Group discussion focused on how individuals could proceed to withdraw their support from the union.

On November 21, the organizing committee informed the ad hoc group that they had requested the IAM not to file the previous week, but the union ignored their request for an extension, opting to rush the shop to vote during a busy holiday period.

With this new information, we determined that if we were to partner with a union, the IAM would not be a good fit for our team. In their rush to represent us, the IAM ignored the wishes of our organizing staff.

Without management harassment, 79% of employees at the Apple Store Saint Louis Galleria signed a petition for the anticipatory withdrawal of the union from representation and to support colleagues in withdrawing union authorization signatures.

This petition was sent to the IAM and NLRB today, December 5.

After employees notified the union of our plans, the IAM pre-emptively withdrew their petition to the NLRB and released a statement claiming hostility toward Apple management employees led to this decision.

The reality is much simpler: most employees at this Apple Store don’t want to work with the IAM.

Our team believes it is important to disclose these facts about why the unionization petition has been withdrawn. We are grateful that Apple gives us the freedom to organize and discuss our options. As a team, we fully recognize that a union can be a necessary and powerful tool for the employee. However, the majority of employees at the Saint Louis Galleria Apple Store do not believe a union is necessary at this time, nor do they want to work with the IAM in the future.

This statement is issued only by the majority of Saint Louis Galleria Apple Store employees, without input or approval from Apple management, Corporate, PR or Legal.

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