An Apple Store in Maryland Is the First to Unionize in the U.S.: 'We Did It Towson!'
Workers sought a union to receive more agency over compensation, work conditions, and safety operations.
In a 65 to 33 vote of around 111 eligible employees, an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, elected to become the first unionized store in the U.S. and will join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
The vote began on Wednesday and concluded by Saturday evening, with the union organizers tweeting, "We did it Towson! We won our union vote! Thanks to all who worked so hard and all who supported! Now we celebrate with @machinistsunion. Tomorrow we keep organizing."
Workers sought a union to receive more agency over compensation, work conditions, and how the store carries out operations such as Covid-19 safety.
While Towson is the first Apple Store in the U.S. to unionize, it is not alone, as there have been several public organization efforts by other stores across the country. Two stores in New York City have announced intentions to unionize but await an official vote. Stores in Kentucky and Tennessee have also signaled efforts towards a union. An Apple store in Atlanta was scheduled for a union vote in early June but that has been delayed indefinitely, with the union organizers Communications Workers of America, claiming that Apple "conducted a systematic, sophisticated campaign to intimidate [employees] and interfere with their right to form a union," as reported by CNBC.
Apple became the first trillion-dollar company in 2021. But while the company has steadily grown, especially in the past few years, workers say they have not seen a reflection of the same growth on their paychecks — with some workers creating anonymous spreadsheets to compare salaries, according to NBC.
And it doesn't stop at the genius bar or manning the retail floor. Cher Scarlett, a former software engineer at Apple, resigned last year after creating and reviewing a survey of corporate employees — which included over 3,000 entries — and found clear evidence of gender pay gaps on some teams.
Scarlett has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the company retaliated in a manner "that has enabled abuse" of workers who attempted to organize efforts on equal pay. Her complaint is still pending with the board.
As for the Towson Apple workers, the vote still needs to be certified — which can take around a week — and then the union and Apple will negotiate a contract.
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