St. Louis Apple Store employees file for election to join Machinists union

Richmond Heights, MO – St. Louis Galleria Apple store employees are organizing.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Nov. 16 to represent approximately 82 Apple store employees in St. Louis.

Workers say their main concerns include wages, short-staffing and pressure to achieve sales metrics.

“I am incredibly grateful that our store team is taking the necessary steps to advocate for ourselves as we prepare to unionize our store officially,” said St. Louis Apple store employee Daniel Bertilson.

“As an employee of Apple for over five years, I have unfortunately had to watch as the culture of this company has shifted from truly embodying a people-first mentality. I look forward to voting ‘yes’ on my ballot and allowing our team members to partner with Apple to achieve the common goal of serving our customers with warmth and kindness.”

Bertilson told the St. Louis-Post Dispatch the company’s metrics can make workers feel like they have to be “pushy” with customers.

“It can feel that we are invited, at times, to put pressure on customers to obtain products or services that they may not want,” Bertilson said.

Bertilson, 27, of St. Louis, has worked at the Galleria Apple store for four years as a product zone specialist, and worked at a store in the Nashville area for one year before that.

Apple store workers in Towson, Md., became the first to unionize in June, also under the Machinists, whose membership today extends into other industries.

In October, workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma City voted to unionize with the Communications Workers of America. The CWA had also filed for a union election for an Apple store in Atlanta, but withdrew the petition in May, according to Reuters.

The St. Louis Galleria Apple store employs 82 people. The National Labor Relations Board requires 30 percent of the potential bargaining unit to sign a petition in order to file for an election, though some unions require a higher threshold.

The IAM has already filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge at the NLRB against Apple for requiring the St. Louis Apple store employees to attend a captive audience meeting and making threats of reprisal if the employees choose to organize with the IAM.

(Some information for this story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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