Thursday, March 23, 2023

Apple Store employees in Maryland win vote to make company’s first US union

A group of Apple retail employees have voted to form the union, the first for the consumer tech giant in the US, as a rapidly growing labor movement gathers momentum across the country.

Store workers in Towson, a Maryland town outside downtown Baltimore, voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) by a vote of 65 to 33, according to the Associated Press.

Towson is one of several Apple Stores where union drives are taking place and the first to vote. Voting began on Wednesday and concluded on Saturday.

The results have yet to be confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board, which did not return a request for comment on Saturday. Apple did not return a request for comment.

The group’s win followed successful union drives at other US corporate giants including Amazon, Starbucks and Google parent Alphabet.

While on a smaller scale, the wave of unionization has picked up pace in companies that recently managed to stifle organized labor with partial reliance on union-busting techniques and a less competitive jobs market, which is the case in the aftermath of today’s pandemic. exist in the economy.

The group of Apple employees at the store – known collectively as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) – wrote a letter to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in May informing the company of its campaign. “The decision to form a union is up to us because workers have access to rights that we do not currently have,” the letter said.

On Saturday, Towson’s video posted on social media showed happy employees being punched in the air as they left the courtroom.

“We towed it! We won our union vote!” Core wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone who worked so hard and supported! Now let’s celebrate with @machinistunion. Tomorrow we will keep organizing.”

IAM President Robert Martinez Jr called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to immediately recognize the union and begin contract negotiations.

“I appreciate the courage displayed by core members at the Apple Store in Towson to achieve this historic victory,” Martinez said in a statement.

“He made a huge sacrifice for the thousands of Apple employees across the country who had all eyes on this election. I ask Apple CEO Tim Cook to honor the election results and the first contract for dedicated IAM core Apple employees at Towson. Tell me to fast track.

He added: “This win reflects the growing demand for unions across our country at Apple Stores and in various industries.”

The company has experienced unionization campaigns in other countries, including at an Apple Store in Glasgow, where some workers have opted to join the GMB union this month.

Towson’s win could spark unions at Apple’s 272 US stores, with employees of the iPhone maker embracing the same fervor as Starbucks baristas. Over the past six months, employees at more than 100 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize, following the first successful vote in Buffalo, New York.

On Friday, Starbucks announced that North America chief Rosanne Williams and key executive efforts to halt unionization are leaving the company.

The news of his departure came when Amazon announced that Dave Clarke, head of worldwide consumer, would also be stepping down. Clark oversaw Amazon’s logistics operations and was the most prominent executive handling labor matters.

In April, workers at a facility in Staten Island became the first people in Amazon history to vote to join a union. Amazon is in the process of challenging that result with labor officials, claiming unfair interference by Amazon labor union leaders.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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