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CWA/Apple Retail Bargaining Report #25 & 26 Penn Square Location, Oklahoma City, OK

Union Family, 

The CWA/Apple Bargaining team met the past two days with Apple in Oklahoma City. The Union came prepared on day 1 to stand our ground on wages, vacation, holidays, and excused days with pay. We again passed proposals that we believed were fair as our proposals would establish wage tables that would give everyone a path to reaching top pay within 48 months (4 years). As you are aware, many of you have made this a career decision to work for Apple for over four years and we know it’s important that everyone has a clear path to making more money from a Company that is the richest in the world; worth well over 3 trillion dollars!

The Company came to this session with the attitude that status quo is good enough, and that wages should be tied to the store's performance. They have made it very apparent so far that they don't care about inflation and the struggle their employees potentially face economically. 

By the time the afternoon/evening rolled around, they countered back our vacation, holiday, and excused days with pay with what you currently have. It seemed nothing we said mattered as they knew more than we did as to what is right for the workers, even though you chose to organize because of some of the very reasons we bring up in this report!

Today, in day two of the two day session, we did ask a lot of questions about bilingual pay. The Company’s position is you should be pushing customers to the Apple translator application versus actually speaking to them in a foreign language. They did say ‘well the employee can speak to them in a foreign language, but will not be required to’. This brought on a very long conversation in which Kevin (a bilingual employee) was instrumental in explaining how often Spanish speaking customers come into the store and need someone who can speak the language. This led to many reasons being brought up as to why having bilingual employees is so important, and Kevin even mentioned the legal aspect of making sure they understand certain required documents. This is just a quick overview of the overall conversation in which the Company did agree to discuss (however they did not respond back today). We believe employees should be compensated appropriately for speaking in a foreign language for the purposes of performing work for Apple.

We did T/A three outstanding proposals locking down all Apple Time Away benefits, requested time off (they tried to counter this with our excused days with pay), and work assignments. It was good to protect some of your existing benefits in the contract; however it's hard to consider this a victory. We did get language guaranteeing interviews for open positions to other job titles, which are scheduled by management within 14 calendar days from the date the posting closes. This was an issue brought up from bargaining demands.

The Company wants to bring in a Federal mediator from the Federal Mediation Conciliation Services (FMCS). They are a neutral government agency that does assist with issues on which we are locked. As of right now we are down to scheduling, wages, vacation, holidays, and excused days with pay. The Company is not wanting to budge AT ALL! So we are in agreement to the request in hopes the mediator can assist.

In closing, we could not come to an agreement on dates in July as it's a busy month for both parties. As of right now, we are waiting on the FMCS agent availability for the month of August. CWA has agreed to be open the entire month to get the next session scheduled before September. We do have three dates September 4-6 we mutually agreed on, in which the Company indicated they plan to be done bargaining completely. That’s not quite how bargaining works, but we heard their comment. 

Stay posted as we will be planning a meeting on a Sunday evening in August for all members at the Union Hall to give some important updates and conduct an authorization to strike vote. More info to come as details get ironed out. 

We appreciate everyone’s support and promise to keep fighting till we are better off than where we started!

In Unity and Solidarity,

CWA/Apple Bargaining Team
Kirsten Matson, Technical Expert
Kevin Romo Velasco, Specialist
Darren Griffis, Business Expert
Michael Forsythe, Genius Admin
Jay Albertson, President Emeritus CWA 6016
Jose Lozano, CWA District 6 Staff Representative
Billy Moffett, CWA District 6 Assistant to the Vice-President