An employee arranges Apple iPhones as a store for customers in an Apple Store.
Mike Segar | Reuters
Employees at apple A store in Towson, Maryland, voted on Saturday to join a union, a significant achievement of organized work that could encourage employees at other Apple stores to form unions. Towson Store is the first unified Apple Store in the US
The vote is a defeat for Apple, which has opposed the union’s efforts, and could energize workers at the company’s other retail sites to advance the regulation.
The number was 65 votes in favor and 33 against. Approximately 110 employees were eligible to vote to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Voting began on Wednesday and continued through Saturday evening.
“We did it Tucson! We won our union vote! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard and everyone who supported!” Towson organizers chirp.
The National Labor Relations Board still needs to ratify the votes. This may take about a week. Apple will have to bargain with the union over working conditions after the vote is approved, according to the NLRB.
The Towson Store is not one of the so-called “flagship” Apple stores in high-traffic areas of major cities. It’s a smaller location inside a mall.
The store received interest from Apple management once workers announced plans to join unions. Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s head of retail and human resources, visited the site in May. a Recorded message from O’Brien It was distributed to employees after union campaigns went public discouraging retail workers from joining unions, saying doing so would make it more difficult for Apple to respond to employee concerns. She said unions had no obligation to the company’s employees.
Workers are looking for more input on wages and working conditions, such as how stores handle Covid safety and other operations.
“To be clear, the decision to form a union concerns us as workers getting rights that we do not currently have,” Towson organizers wrote in a letter To Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The Towson Store is one of several Apple sites that have publicly announced standardized drives, and other retail regulators in other locations are watching its results closely. Two of New York’s high-traffic and high-volume stores, the Greater Central Station and the World Trade Center sites, indicated they were unionizing, but did not progress to the official voting stage.
One store in Atlanta, Georgia an election scheduled for earlier this month was indefinitely postponed after the Communications Workers Union of America claimed that Apple intimidating its employees. Stores in Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee are also in the process of being regulated, According to NBC News.
The Apple Retail Consortium in Towson is unlikely to jeopardize Apple’s core business model of selling hardware and services. Although Apple Stores are a major channel for selling products, Apple also sells through its website and retail partners such as carriers. Apple’s hourly workforce is smaller than what other companies are currently facing Waves of union drivessuch as Amazon and Starbucks.
Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. Reporting global sales of more than $365 billion in 2021, she says U.S. retail employees earn at least $22 an hour.
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