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CODE-CWA Press & Updates

Apple Workers Awarded Settlement by NLRB in Apple Retail Workers Union-CWA Victory

(Oklahoma City, OK)— In a victory for union workers at the Apple Penn Square store in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved a settlement agreement for an Unfair Labor Practice charge filed last year by Communications Workers of America (CWA) against Apple. The case was set for a hearing on Tuesday before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the NLRB.

CWA filed charges on behalf of workers after Apple terminated its COVID-19 sick leave policy without negotiating with the union. In December 2023, the NLRB found that this action by Apple violated the National Labor Relations Act, which requires management to bargain with its union-represented workers’ before making changes to terms and conditions of employment. Today’s settlement restores sick leave for affected employees and ensures that workers will have a voice in how any future public health emergencies affect their working conditions.

“We joined together to form a union so that we could have a legally-protected voice in policies that affect us. If Apple executives didn't understand that before, they do now. This settlement makes it clear that they cannot ignore our union. It's time for the company to accept that we are here to stay and to stop stalling at the bargaining table,”said Michael Forsythe, Genius Admin and member of the Penn Square Apple Store Bargaining Committee.

Since Apple retail workers began organizing, the company has chosen the low road, retaining the notorious union-busting firm Littler Mendelson and launching a coordinated, national union-busting campaign. In 2023, an ALJ for the NLRB determined that Apple violated workers’ rights following multiple ULP’s filed by retail workers in Apple’s stores across the country including Atlanta, New York, Oklahoma City, Houston, and Kansas City. Workers have attempted to negotiate a first contract but Apple has refused to bargain more than two days per month and has failed to respond promptly to workers’ proposals. This pattern of delay is a familiar union-busting strategy. 

“This settlement is a victory for our members and demonstrates how forming a union can protect workers during the bargaining process. Workers at the Penn Square Apple Store will not back down. Apple needs to stop playing games, live up to its values, and show respect for these workers by fulfilling its legal obligation to bargain a fair collective bargaining agreement.,said Billy Moffett, Assistant to Vice President, CWA District 6. 

As a part of the settlement reached today, Apple agrees that it will: 

  • Within the next 30 days, make affected bargaining unit members whole by crediting them with the time that they used for COVID-19 from August 1, 2023, to the present date, in their sick leave banks.

  • Compensate an affected worker for the nineteen hours of sick leave that they took for COVID from August 1, 2023, until present date.

  • Agree to the following CWA bargaining proposal: 

    • When the federal government declares a public health emergency, the Company will contact the Union as soon as practicable to bargain over the effects of the public health emergency. 

    • Should the Company offer a paid leave to its non-bargaining unit, non- exempt Retail US-based employees in direct response to that public health emergency (such as for Company-required quarantining), the Company agrees to offer the same paid leave under the same terms and conditions to bargaining unit employees, until the parties have had an opportunity to bargain as described in Section A.