Maryland Apple Store workers face hurdles in union push

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Labor experts believe there are still hurdles to overcome, even after Apple Store workers in Maryland voted to form a union. Apple retail workers in Townson, MD., voted 65-33 to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Analyzing the new development, labor experts say the workers’ decision is just one significant step in a lengthy process that is heavily stacked against workers in favor of their employers.

“The employer in the United States has an awful lot of rights to simply withdraw recognition at the end of the process. The employer can prove that it no longer supports a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit,” said Michael Duff, a former NLRB lawyer and professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law.

Duff said that even after a union has been certified, a company can use the vast number of legal manuevers at its disposal to fight it.

Another hurdle involves employers dragging out the bargaining process in order to take the impetus off union campaigns. Companies can do this by restructuring their businesses so that unionized workers are reclassified as independent contractors and not employees. In this case, the union vote is ineffective.

The sources for this piece include an article in NPR.

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