Workers at Apple’s Towson Town Center store in Maryland voted to unionize, with 65 yes and 33 no. About 110 employees were allowed to vote in the election.
The store is the first Apple retail location in the US to hold a union election after organizers in Atlanta withdrew their petition to hold a union vote scheduled for early May.
The organizing at the Towson store was done by a group of employees calling themselves AppleCORE (an acronym for Coalition of Organized Retail Employees). The workers have said they want to expand their rights, specifically asking for a say when it comes to pay, working hours and safety. AppleCORE is affiliated with a larger, established union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Apple has not welcomed the numerous union campaigns in its stores with open arms. The company hired anti-union lawyers and had store and even business leaders tell employees why they shouldn’t join a union. Organizers in Atlanta even withdrew their petition to hold elections, alleging Apple’s behavior made it impossible to vote fairly, and the company has been accused of breaking unions through public rallies in two different locations.
No other union elections are currently scheduled in US Apple stores. However, in partnership with the Communications Workers of America union, workers at Apple’s Grand Central store in New York are collecting the signatures needed to petition for a vote. There are also efforts to host an Apple Store in Louisville, Kentucky.