Maryland Apple Store first to vote in favor of unionization
In a clear majority, employees at the Towson Town Center, Maryland Apple Store have voted to form a union, and the ball is now in Apple's court.
The vote was 65 employees in favor, and 33 against unionization. This is in line with expectations, and will give the employees a supermajority, making it harder Apple to overcome the formation of the union.
"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," said IAM international president Robert Martinez Jr. said on Saturday to the Wall Street Journal. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."
The Towson Town Center store near Baltimore wasn't the first to file to unionize. Apple Stores in New York, and also Atlanta, in their aim to unionize.
When originally announced, organizers within the store said that they have worked on getting support for almost a year. They worked in coordination with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to launch the union at the store.
It's not yet clear what the terms of the deal will be. Organizers in the two previous stores have been pressing for an increase in the current starting pay of $20 per hour, and Apple has since promised to pay $22 per hour.
Workers at the Cumberland Mall store in Atlanta, for example, are asking for an increase to $28 per hour. Employees in the Grand Central Station Apple Store in New York are asking for an increase in the starting wage to $30.
Apple's retail chief Deirdre O'Brien pushed back against recent unionization efforts at some of the company's brick-and-mortar locations in a new video to staff members. She has said that the efforts could slow workplace progress and potentially harm the relationship between Apple and its employees.
The company has recently been accused of violating the National Labor Relations Act and countering an ongoing union drive at Apple Cumberland Mall in Georgia.
The company previously circulated anti-union materials to some store managers and has hired well-known anti-union lawyers to respond to the Atlanta union campaign.
Apple has yet to comment on the matter.