Apple workers vote to unionize at Maryland store
Apple store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin on June 18, a union said, joining a growing push across U.S. retail, service and tech industries to organize for greater workplace protections.
The Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union’s announcement said. The vote could not immediately be confirmed with the National Labor Relations Board, which would have to certify the outcome.
Union organizing in a variety of fields has gained momentum recently after decades of decline in U.S. union membership.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Apple employees who wanted to join said they sent Apple CEO Tim Cook 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 remained unclear what steps would follow the vote in Towson. Labor 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 Apple store unionization comes against a backdrop of other labor organizing nationwide, some of them rebuffed.
Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City voted to unionize in April, the first successful U.S. organizing 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 U.S. 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 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.