Pro-union President praises Towson Apple Store workers

From Reuters' "Biden says he is proud of Apple workers who voted to join a union" posted Monday:

U.S. President Joe Biden said he was "proud" of Apple Inc. workers in Maryland who voted on Saturday to join a union, becoming the first retail employees of the tech giant to unionize in the United States.

"I am proud of them," Biden told reporters on Monday. "Workers have a right to determine under what condition they are going to work or not work."

More than 100 workers in Towson near Baltimore "overwhelmingly voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers," the union said on its website on Saturday. Apple declined to comment after the announcement.

My take: This is right in Joe Biden's wheelhouse. Earlier this year his administration issued a 70-point plan to encourage union membership in the U.S.

See also: Apple fought the union and the union won.

10 Comments

  1. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Was this news received in and around the time the POTUS fell off his bike? It must have been the excitement from this “Union” news and I hope that he’s really okay. Falling on asphalt is not fun as I remember from being a kid before the era of helmets and safety equipment.

    5
    June 20, 2022
  2. Steven Philips said:
    “I am proud of them,” Biden told reporters on Monday. “Workers have a right to determine under what condition they are going to work or not work.”
    So do employers.
    Unions have their place, but it’s not EVERY place.
    I guess I’d really need to know all the issues to pass judgment, but so far it hasn’t seemed justified. Except to Biden. Who would probably try to organize kindergartners and their rights to crayons.

    6
    June 20, 2022
    • Dan Scropos said:
      From what I could gather online, Apple Pays their employees 70% over the national retail employee average ($44k at Apple versus $26k elsewhere).

      Assuming that’s somewhat accurate, Apple retail customers are probably far easier to deal with, the stores are in great areas and the job seems genuinely fun. That said, I guess I’m missing the necessity of a union. My hunch is that the union sees Apple’s massive profits and has their OWN interests in mind, not the employees’.

      8
      June 20, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      Of course, business determine under what conditions they employ people…

      I do believe the expression that local union votes are as much a verdict on the local management as anything. It will be interesting to see what the union employees think they can bargain from Apple.

      0
      June 20, 2022
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Perspective:
    1) 100 workers people voted for this union in one store. Minuscule impact to Apple.
    2) Surely there are millions of workers in the US who need a union more that Apple retail employees. Maybe this will encourage them to organize.
    3) The sad truth is that inflation is crushing to low skill workers and the small businesses that need to employ them. Apple (and us investors by proxy) can afford to give the employees a much better deal than most.

    3
    June 20, 2022
    • Rodney Avilla said:
      “Apple can afford to give the employees a much better deal than most.”

      May I disagree and argue the point that what Apple can afford is mostly irrelevant?
      When you go to the store for milk and bread, is the price according to what you can afford? When you pay someone to mow your lawn, do they charge you according to your income level? Of course not. Nor should they. You pay according to the value of the goods or services you purchase. And employees should be paid according to the value they add to the company by the work that they do. Companies have gone bankrupt because unions have demanded pay based on the employees skills, not the company’s revenue.

      2
      June 21, 2022
      • David Emery said:
        Well, I think “the answer” is somewhat between those two positions. When labor is scarce, companies with deep pockets can dig into them. Union negotiation can take full advantage of that. But unions also have to be willing to adjust to lean times, either in a specific company, an industry, or the economy in general. That’s a much harder proposition for negotiations, although there have been many clawbacks in contracts during bad times.

        What I do respect in heavily unionized industries (e.g. Detroit style automakers), is when the Unions get a seat on the board. That gives the Union rep insight into the conditions of the company and literally a seat at the table for figuring out how to manage the business.

        But I explicitly reject the calls for mandatory income redistribution and the underlying notion that the goal should be “equal outcomes” (as opposed to “equal opportunity.”)

        3
        June 21, 2022
  4. Tom Farris said:
    @Rodney – Agree completely.
    “Workers have a right to determine under what condition they are going to work or not work.” Workers always have this right with or without Unions…It’s called “Quit if you don’t like something about your job.” For those that may say that that is a naïve viewpoint that not everyone can quit…that is not the employers fault. These days especially am I not swayed by the Po’ Folks just can’t help themselves as everything is stacked against them. So many younger people feel entitled in so many ways and many others want to make their predicament everyone else’s problem…everyone except themselves. Homeless? I see more of them with Tattoos (that ain’t cheap) than anybody except may certain pro athletes and gang bangers/inmates.
    I think I see more foreigners succeed in the US that have come here because they believe that they can achieve their particular dream, and actually are able to do it. I also see/hear less whining from those immigrants than people born here. They come, they learn the language and they get to work.
    Too many of the higher wage Unions and concomitant jobs are still mob associated and have an incestuous hiring & apprenticeship processes to exclude anyone not related to or affiliated with someone already part of the Union. Big Unions are about big Union paydays for the Union leaders. I see a Union board member as being there to figure out just how much they can squeeze from the company and how much can they reduce shareholder payment/benefit to divert to Union benefit. Like having a pickpocket move in with you. Too much and not enuff said.

    2
    June 21, 2022

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