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Glasgow Apple Store Crew to be First in UK to Unionize

Glasgow Apple Store Crew to be First in UK to Unionize

The employees at Apple’s Buchanan Street store in Scotland are about to become the first branch in the United Kingdom to unionize, reports The Glasgow Times.

Workers at the store have filed for Voluntary Union Recognition with Apple after joining the GMB Scotland general workers union. They claim low wages, lack of pay transparency and unfair shift patterns have spurred them to make the move.

An Apple worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Times: “In the UK Apple have staff forums, but these are continually shown to be ineffectual and feedback is ignored.

“It is a one-way conversation.

“We need our own representatives and a proper voice to change things.

“People are suffering with the cost-of-living crisis. We need a pay rise, pay transparency and a voice.”

Employees also have concerns over their scheduling as they struggle to find a work/life balance.  Store staff in Glasgow also said they earn around £12 ($15) an hour and will demand a pay rise should union recognition be received.

Apple spokesperson was quoted as telling The Times:

“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.”

The news follows similar moves by Apple retail employees in the United States. Apple retail locations in Washington State, New York City, and Maryland are organizing and taking steps toward unionization.

Apple has agreed to make employee schedules at its retail locations more flexible in an attempt to improve working conditions and possibly stave off a move to unionization in its stores.

Apple has been quietly pushing back against unionization efforts in its U.S. stores. Employees have complained of stagnant wages, poor benefits, and lax health protocols as part of the effort to unionize.

Apple’s retail chief recently Deirdre O’Brien pushed back against unionization efforts at some of the company’s brick-and-mortar locations in a new video to staff members. O’Brien told staff members that the efforts could slow workplace progress and potentially harm the relationship between Apple and its employees.