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Apple Store Employees in Maryland First to Vote to Unionize

Roughly two-thirds of employees at a store in Towson, Maryland, vote to unionize.

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An Apple Store in Los Angeles.
Apple

Apple employees at a Maryland store near Baltimore have voted to unionize, according to an announcement Saturday, a first for the tech giant's more than 270 stores in the US.

According to reports from the New York Times, Washington Post and others, a tally of 65 employees voted in favor of joining the union, the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, which is part of The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Reportedly 33 employees voted against the union, with an official count still pending. 

"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," IAM's International President Robert Martinez said in a statement Saturday, adding a public request that Apple CEO Tim Cook "respect" the election results and "fast-track a first contract for the dedicated IAM CORE Apple employees in Towson."

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

The vote marks a turning point for Apple's retail employees, who had increasingly attempted to organize unions at some stores across the country. 

The union organizing isn't just at Apple, though. Google employees began forming the Alphabet Workers Union in early 2021, and those efforts spread to a group of contractors in Missouri who became the first Google Fiber workers to unionize back in March, signing up with AWU. 

Workers in Amazon warehouses meanwhile had several big union pushes in April. Those in a Staten Island, New York, location voted to become the first US workers at the company to successfully unionize, while workers in Alabama have failed to unionize.

Workers at more than 150 US Starbucks locations have requested union elections, and some employees at game maker Activision Blizzard formed a union while the company is still in the process of being bought by Microsoft for $68.7 billion

Most of the big tech companies have resisted unionization. Federal officials accused Amazon of attempting to disrupt one of the union votes at its warehouses and Apple has been accused of anti-union activity as well. Microsoft, for its part, has promised to remain neutral toward the union activities at Activision Blizzard amid its acquisition plans.