Apple workers vote to join union, a first for the tech giant in US | US news

Apple workers in Maryland voted by a nearly two-to-one margin to join a union, becoming the tech giant’s first retail employees to unionize in the United States.

More than 100 workers in Towson, near Baltimore, voted 65 to 33 on Saturday to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union said.

The local workers, forming the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (Core), “have the support of a solid majority of our colleagues,” they said in a statement.

“It’s something we don’t do [do] contradict or create conflict with our leadership,” they said.

An Apple spokesperson, responding to a request for comment, said via email that the company had “nothing to add at this time.”

Organizing efforts are gaining momentum at some major US corporations, including Amazon and Starbucks.

IAM and Apple employees who wanted to join said they sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a notice last month saying they were seeking to organize a union. The statement said their primary motivation was to pursue “rights that we don’t currently have.”

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr said in the statement, “I applaud the courage shown by Core members at the Apple store in Towson to achieve this historic victory. They have made an enormous sacrifice to thousands of Apple employees across the country who had all their eyes on this election.

Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and let unionized employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson site.

The union bills itself as one of the largest and most diverse industrial unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airline, railroad, railway, public transport, health care, automobile and others.

The vote could not be confirmed immediately with the National Labor Relations Council, which should certify the result.

Apple workers in Atlanta who were seeking to unionize withdrew their request last month, citing intimidation.

Last year, some current and former Apple employees began criticizing the company’s working conditions online, using the hashtag #AppleToo.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report

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