You are here: Home » International » News » Companies
Business Standard

Apple employees vote to unionise at Maryland store, says report

The Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Apple  | United States

AP | PTI  |  Towson (US) 

Photo: Bloomberg
Organisers have worked to establish unions at companies including Amazon, Starbucks, Google parent company Alphabet and outdoors retailer REI. Photo: Bloomberg

store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionise by a nearly 2-to-1 margin on Saturday, a union said, joining a growing push across US retail, service and tech industries to organise for greater workplace protections.

The retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union's announcement said.

The vote could not immediately be confirmed with the National Labour Relations Board, which would have to certify the outcome.

An NLRB spokesperson referred initial queries about the vote to the board's regional office, which was closed late Saturday.

declined to comment on Saturday's development, company spokesperson Josh Lipton told The Associated Press by phone.

Union organising in a variety of fields has gained momentum recently after decades of decline in US union membership.

Organisers have worked to establish unions at including Amazon, Starbucks, Google parent company Alphabet and outdoors retailer REI.

The Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Apple employees who wanted to join said they sent Apple CEO notice last month that they were seeking to form a union.

The statement said their driving motivation was to seek “rights we do not currently have”. It added that the workers recently organised in the Coalition of Organised Retail Employees (CORE).

“I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory,” said IAM President Robert Martinez Jr. in the statement.

“They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election.” Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and to let the unionising employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson location.

It remained unclear what steps would follow the vote in Towson. Labour experts say it's common for employers to drag out the bargaining process in an effort to take the momentum out of union campaigns.

The 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, defence, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.

The Apple store unionisation comes against a backdrop of other labour organising nationwide — some of them rebuffed.

Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City voted to unionize in April, the first successful US organising effort in the retail giant's history.

However, workers at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island overwhelmingly rejected a union bid last month.

Meanwhile, Starbucks workers at dozens of US stores have voted to unionise in recent months, after two of the coffee chain's stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionise late last year.

Many unionisation efforts have been led by young workers 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 around 800 Google employees and is run by five people who are under 35.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, June 19 2022. 23:07 IST