In a first, Apple store workers at Maryland vote to unionise
Employees of more than two dozen Apple stores have expressed interest in unionising
As many as 65 employees at Apple store in Towson, voted in favour of being represented by the union
Ms. O'Brien visited the store and thanked everyone for their hard work
Apple store employees at a Baltimore-area have voted to unionise, making it the first of the company's 270-plus stores in the United States to join a trend in labour organising sweeping through retailers, restaurants and tech companies.
The result that was announced on Saturday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), provides a foothold for a budding movement among Apple retail employees who want a greater voice over wages and Covid-19 policies.
According to union leaders, employees of more than two dozen Apple stores have expressed interest in unionising in recent months.
In the election, as many as 65 employees at Apple store in Towson, voted in favour of being represented by the union, known as the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, while 33 voted against. It will be part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, an industrial trade union that represents over 300,000 employees.
In a statement, Robert Martinez Jr., president of IAM International said, "I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory."
The outcome is a blow to Apple's campaign to blunt union drives by arguing that it pays more than many retailers and provides an array of benefits, including health care and stock grants.
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Earlier, it increased starting wages for retail employees to $22 an hour, from $20, and released a video of Deirdre O’Brien, who leads Apple retail, cautioning employees that joining a union could hurt the company’s business.
Employees in Towson said in a video ahead of the union vote that Apple’s anti-union campaign there was "nasty" and included management telling workers that unions once prohibited Black employees from joining their ranks. In the weeks ahead of the vote, Ms. O'Brien visited the store and thanked everyone for their hard work.