TOWSON, Md. ( Associated Press) — Apple Store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted Saturday to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, a union said, with US retail, service and tech working to organize for a greater workplace Joining the growing push in industries is security.
The union announcement said that Apple’s retail employees in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to enter the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The vote could not be immediately confirmed with the National Labor Relations Board, which must certify the result. An NLRB spokesperson sent initial queries about the vote to the board’s regional office, which closed late Saturday.
Apple declined to comment on Saturday’s development, company spokesman Josh Lipton told The Associated Press over the phone.
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Union organizing in various fields has gained momentum recently, after decades of decline in American union membership. Organizers have worked to unionize companies including Amazon, Starbucks, Google’s parent company Alphabet and external retailer REI.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and Apple employees who wanted to join said they had sent a notice last month to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for a union. The statement said his driving motivation is “to seek rights we do not currently have.” It states that workers recently organized into coalitions, or corps, of organized retail workers.
“I appreciate the courage displayed by core members at the Apple Store in Towson to achieve this historic victory,” IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said in the statement. “He made a huge sacrifice for the thousands of Apple employees across the country who were watching this election.”
Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and let unionizing employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson location.
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It was not clear what steps would be taken after the vote in Towson. Labor experts say it’s common for employers to drag out the bargaining process in an effort to gain momentum from union campaigns.
IAM bills itself as one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries. does.
The Apple Store unionization comes against the backdrop of other labor events nationwide – some of them reprimanded.
Amazon employees at a New York City warehouse voted to unionize in April, the first successful US organizing effort in the retail giant’s history. However, workers at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island overwhelmingly rejected the union bid last month. Meanwhile, Starbucks employees at dozens of US stores have voted to unionize in recent months, after two of the coffee chain’s stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize late last year.
Many unionization efforts have been led by youth activists in their 20s and even in their teens. A group of Google engineers and other workers formed the Alphabet Workers Union last year, which represents about 800 Google employees and is run by five people under 35.