Apple Store employees in Maryland are first to vote for unionization

Apple employees at a Maryland store near Baltimore voted to unionize, according to an announcement on Saturday, the first for the tech giant’s more than 270 stores in the United States.

According to reports in the New York Times, Washington Post and others, a total of 65 employees voted in favor of joining the union, the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), which is part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. AM I). Reportedly, 33 employees voted against the union, with an official count still pending.

“I applaud the courage shown by CORE members at the Apple Store in Towson to achieve this historic victory,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez in a statement Saturday, adding a public request to Apple CEO Tim Cook , “respect” the election results, and “accelerate a first contract for IAM CORE Apple’s dedicated employees in Towson.”

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

The vote marks a turning point for Apple retail employees, who have increasingly tried to organize unions in some stores across the country.

Union organizing isn’t just at Apple. Google employees began forming the Alphabet Workers Union in early 2021, and those efforts spread to a group of contractors in Missouri who became the first Google Fiber workers to unionize in March, signing up for the AWU.

Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers had several major union efforts in April. Those in a Staten Island, New York location voted to become the company’s first American workers to successfully unionize, while Alabama workers were unable to unionize.

Workers at more than 150 Starbucks locations across the US have called for union elections, and some employees at game maker Activision Blizzard have formed a union while the company is still in the process of being purchased by Microsoft for $68.7 billion.

Most large tech companies resisted unionization. Federal officials accused Amazon of trying to disrupt one of the union votes in its warehouses and Apple has accused of anti-union activity also. Microsoft, in turn, promised to remain neutral for Activision Blizzard’s union activities amid its acquisition plans.

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