You are currently viewing ZD Tech: A trade union wind is blowing on GAFAM

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. My name is Clarisse Treilles and today I explain to you why the trade union wind blowing over GAFAM is still very measured.

Saturday June 18, 2022, this is a date that Apple’s senior management is not about to forget. It is indeed the day that the employees of an Apple Store in Baltimore chose to vote to join a union. And this is a first in the United States for the apple brand!

To understand the context, we have to go back a bit. The pandemic and inflation have been hitting employees hard for several months. Consequence: a wave of unionism is sweeping through American tech companies. The demands of protesting employees? Higher wages, and greater bargaining power with their employers.

Apple is not an isolated case, and Amazon warehouses are also on the front line. Remember, it was last spring, employees of a New York sorting center created the first union in the history of the Seattle giant.


But if these two victories are symbolic, they remain exceptions. It should be remembered that Apple employees were in no way at their first attempt: earlier in the year, an attempt had indeed failed in an Apple Store in Atlanta. And of the 270 Apple stores in the United States, it’s no exaggeration to say that the road will be long… and full of pitfalls!

Especially since management is not going to help them! Its goal ? Discourage teams that attempt to hold a union vote. His arguments ? An intermediary would complicate the relationship between Apple and its employees. The Cupertino giant prefers to emphasize trust and conflict avoidance.

Sticks in the wheels

At Amazon too, the battle promises to be tough. In the past two months, two attempts to form a union have already failed.

Still, the resounding victory of the Amazon Labor Union in New York was promising! But it was not followed by effects. And tensions are crystallizing between the union and Amazon. The e-commerce giant is even trying to have the election annulled. The reason ? Employees were reportedly intimidated by organizers into voting yes.

The battle promises to be long for GAFAM employees. But who knows, the union breeze could become a hurricane of protest.

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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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