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Oklahoma City's Apple Penn Square retail workers want to unionize

Staff at Oklahoma City's Apple Penn Square store have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board, with the hope of getting an official vote about joining a union.

Staff at many Apple Stores across the US — and internationally — have been working to join unions, and to have those unions then recognized by Apple. Previously Apple has resorted to union-busting, but it has also agreed to one for its Maryland store.

There are multiple different unions that can be applicable to retail staff working in technology outlets. Now according to Bloomberg, staff at Apple Penn Square want to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, and have Apple formally recognize that.

Staff can join a union but there are certain steps that must be followed. First, they individually join a union, then when at least 30% of staff at a given location have done so, they petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

CWA says that around 70% of Apple Penn Square staff have joined it. The NLRB can then hold an election at the store.

If the union wins a majority of votes in that election, then the employee is legally compelled to recognize the union. Recognizing it means negotiating with the union over collective bargaining, working conditions and so on.

"This is a really great time to bring back the labor movement," Michael Forsyth, Penn Square employee and one of the union movement organizers, told the publication.

"I do really love [Apple]," he continued. "There are changes that I do know need to happen, but I don't believe it's necessarily with our direct managers."

"I see this as a thing between the workers and Big Apple," said Forsyth.

Reportedly, Penn Square staff say they were inspired by the workers at Apple Cumberland in Atlanta, which has previously attempted to unionize.

Apple has not responded as yet, nor is it clear when the NLRB may move to hold an election.