Apple workers at Scottish branch become first in UK to be unionised

Apple workers at the tech giant's Glasgow branch could become the first in the UK to become unionised.

Workers at a handful of Apple's US shops have applied in recent weeks for union recognition.

Staff in Glasgow recently filed for Voluntary Union Recognition with Apple after joining GMB Scotland, claiming they were unhappy with a lack of pay transparency, including roles being advertised without salary expectations.

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There has also been frustration over recent changes to scheduling, resulting in workers reportedly struggling to find a work/life balance.

An Apple worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "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."

On June 15, workers at an Apple store in Maryland are to begin an in-person union election, potentially making them the first branch in America to unionise.

Two other stores, at Grand Central Station in New York City and another in Kentucky, have also announced they will campaign for union recognition.

GMB organiser John Slaven said: "These workers have shown tremendous courage and resilience to organise themselves.

"Apple speaks the language of social justice, but in practice it is the same story of low pay, unfair shift patterns and lack of respect.”

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Store staff in Glasgow said they earn around £12 an hour and will demand a pay rise should union recognition be received.

GMB now claim they have the majority of workers in membership in the Glasgow store with many other enquiries from other stores across the UK.

Louise Gilmour, Scottish secretary of the GMB, said: "GMB's mission is to make work better and we are delighted to give these workers the support they need to unionise in Apple.

"Times are changing for big tech firms; in the grip of the biggest cost-of-living crisis in 40 years they need to start practicing what they've been preaching for years about corporate social responsibility.”

Apple have been contacted for comment.

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