Maryland Apple store employees vote to join union in U.S. first

On Saturday, employees at an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, voted to join a union, making it the first Apple store in the United States to do so. Despite Apple’s opposition, retail employees voted 65-33 to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. However, the National Labor Relations Board must certify the vote before it can be considered final. 

The Washington Examiner reports that the employees, calling themselves the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or CORE, announced their intention to organize in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month. They stated, “This is something we do not to go against or create conflict with our management. Rather, we have come together as a union because of a deep love of our role as workers within the company. The decision to form a union is about us as workers gaining access to rights that we do not currently have.”

Robert Martinez Jr., president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said, “I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory. I ask Apple CEO Tim Cook to respect the election results and fast-track a first contract for the dedicated IAM CORE Apple employees in Towson. This victory shows the growing demand for unions at Apple stores and different industries across our nation.”

The Maryland store isn’t the only one that wants to join the union. According to CNBC, a vote to unionize employees at an Apple store in Atlanta was dropped in May after the Communications Workers of America argued that Apple had broken labor regulations and made a fair election impossible. The Towson retail employees are part of a growing wave of activists working to form unions at corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Workers at an Amazon facility on Staten Island were the first to vote for unionization in April.

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