Facing 4th Union Drive, Apple Raises Pay to $22/hour Minimum – Blue Man Group: Union Busters – PA AFL-CIO Prez Resigns

4 Unions are competing to unionize Apple Store workers


Greetings from the Burgh, where we are mourning the death of Ray Liotta. 

Watch “Corrina, Corrina” to Honor Ray Liotta 

While many remembrances of him are focused on his portrayal as a gangster, my favorite Ray Liotta film is 1994’s “Corrina, Corrina,” starring Whoppi Goldberg. Liotta portrays a Jewish widower, a piano player and jingle writer in the 1950s, who falls in love with Whoppi Goldberg and challenges his neighbors’ scorn of interracial relationships. 

Watch a clip of it here 

Facing 4th Union Drive, Apple Raises Pay to $22/hour Minimum at its Retail Store

Yesterday, workers at an Apple Store in Louisville announced that they intended to unionize, making it the fourth Apple store in the country to do so. 

With organizers expecting Apple stores to quickly unionize—similar to how Starbucks workers are organizing—Apple is going on the offensive to try to soften union sentiment. This week, they announced they were raising retail workers’ pay to $22/hour. This is up from $17/hour in retail stores. 

The move by Apple comes as the company’s vice president warned that a union could make it more difficult to improve working conditions. 

“We have a relationship that’s based on an open and collaborative and direct engagement, which I feel could fundamentally change if a store is represented by a union under a collective bargaining agreement,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president of retail and people, said in a video sent to Apple’s 58,000 retail employees in the US and obtained by Vice. 

For more, check out VICE 

Blue Man Group Busts Union Drive at Their Private School

The Blue Man Group is a legendary musical act that, in addition to their work on stage, also sponsors a private school in Manhattan. However, over 40 educators are on strike after the school refused to recognize their union. 

“The tactics employed by the school to thwart unionization are the same as those used by Blue Man Group when the stagehands union sought to organize the Las Vegas theater where the Blue Man Group was performing in 2005,” the union said in a statement. “Matt Goldman, founder of the Blue Man Group and current Vice-Chair of Blue School’s Board of Trustees, originally pledged to honor election results in the stagehands’ vote to unionize, but later refused to recognize the union and continually appealed the results of the election.”

For more, check out the union’s press release here 

Following Strike, Great Lakes Coffee Closes Main Detroit Location

In February, workers at Great Lakes Coffee’s midtown Detroit location went on strike to demand recognition of their union. Ultimately, the company refused to recognize the union and announced this week that they were closing the location. 

“It’s upsetting knowing they would rather close the building itself than to talk to us about our union,” worker Lex Bloom told the Detroit Free Press. 

For more, check out the Detroit Free Press 

PA AFL-CIO President Resigns Amid Accusations 

Last month, accusations of misconduct and sexual harassment were leveled against incoming PA AFL-CIO President Frank Synder. 

After the accusations became public, national AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler ordered an investigation into Synder’s behavior. Rather than have the report go public, Snyder chose to retire. 

For more, check out Bloomberg 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere 

Alright folks, that’s all for today. Keep sending story ideas, tips, links, and comments to [email protected] 

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Thanks again for all of the support! 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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