Apple Workers Celebrate After Voting to Unionize at Maryland Store

Workers at an Apple store in Maryland are celebrating after voting on Saturday to become the tech giant's first unionized store in the U.S.

Employees at the store in Towson voted 65-33 to to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

"We did it Towson! We won our union vote!" the workers, who organized in the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), said on Twitter. "Thanks to all who worked so hard and all who supported! Now we celebrate with @machinistsunion. Tomorrow we keep organizing."

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr, congratulated the employees on what he described as a "historic victory."

"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," he said. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among the lawmakers to welcome the news, tweeting: "Congratulations to Apple workers in Towson, Maryland on becoming the first Apple store in the United States to form a union! What we are seeing right now is a historic uprising of working class Americans telling the corporate elite that they have to end their greed."

Martinez called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to respect the election results and to let the unionizing employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson store.

Apple and the National Labor Relations Board have been contacted for comment.

CORE and IAM had penned a letter to Cook in May saying the bid to form a union is "about us as workers gaining access to rights that we do not currently have."

Motherboard reported last month that Apple is circulating anti-union talking points to store leaders to discourage workers from joining unions amid an unprecedented unionization drive at Apple retail stores across the country.

The outlet also published details about a video of Apple's retail vice president Deirdre O'Brien telling employees that a union would make it harder for the company to improve working conditions.

Union organizing has gained momentum recently with organizers working to establish unions at large companies including Starbucks, Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet.

Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City's Staten Island voted to unionize in April, becoming the first organised facility in the retail giant's history.

But weeks later, workers at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island rejected a union bid.

Starbucks employees at dozens of U.S. stores have voted to unionize in recent months, after two locations in Buffalo, New York, became the first of the coffee giant's stores to unionize in decades last year.

Apple iphone store
iPhones are displayed as people attend the grand opening event of the new Apple store at The Grove on November 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Apple workers in Towson, Maryland have voted in favour of unionizing. Getty Images