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Maryland Apple Store employees to vote on strike, citing unmet demands

Maryland Apple Store employees to vote on strike, citing unmet demands

Workers at the first unionized Apple retail store in the US are preparing for a strike sanction vote to address unresolved issues with management.

Despite over a year of negotiations, critical issues such as work-life balance, erratic scheduling, and wages remain unresolved. The workforce at the Towson, Maryland store, which unionized in June 2022, is increasingly disheartened by what they perceive as Apple's insufficient responses to their concerns.

Earlier in 2024, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) conducted an independent survey. It countered Apple's "Workers Rights Assessment," which was initially undertaken to quell shareholder and employee unrest.

The group's findings highlighted discrepancies and alleged illegal activities by Apple, including wrongful terminations and collective punishments targeted at union supporters.

"Despite persistent efforts to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue, Apple has unfortunately not addressed our core concerns," said IAM District 4 Directing Business Representative Jay Wadleigh in a statement to AppleInsider. "This strike sanction vote sends a strong message that the workers want Apple to recognize the need for an equitable and respectful work environment for all its employees.

"IAM CORE remains committed to fostering a democratic and fair workplace for all Apple workers. We believe this vote presents a crucial opportunity for employees to have their voices heard."

The outcome of the vote could send ripples through the retail industry, particularly in companies within the tech sector known for their non-union stance. As the situation develops, it could inspire similar actions across Apple's US retail locations.

For example, on Monday, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Apple engaged in illegal practices at a NYC retail store in 2022. The decision presents obstacles to Apple's existing employment practices.