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19 Jun 2022

Edward Helmore, The Guardian,
// Le Monde avec AFP (France)

USA: Apple workers in Maryland vote to become first US store to unionise

Guilhem Vellut on flickr

"Apple workers in Maryland vote to join union, a first for the tech giant in US", 19 June 2022

Apple Store workers in Maryland have voted to join a union, becoming the tech giant’s first retail employees to join a labour-force movement...

More than 100 workers in Towson, near Baltimore, voted 65-33 to join the union, known as the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees – AppleCore – that will be part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), an industrial trade union that represents more than 300,000 employees...

Last month, the Apple workers and IAM sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook informing him of the decision to organize their union, listing “access to rights we do not currently have”, and calling on the company “to pledge not to use your resources to engage in an anti-union campaign”.

An Apple spokesman repeated the company’s response to an earlier petition in Atlanta. “We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full time and part time employees, including healthcare, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits,” the spokesperson said...

After Saturday’s vote, an Apple spokesperson said by email the company had “nothing to add at this time”...

Apple retail employees involved in the Towson Mall union campaign have said they want a greater say over issues including coronavirus safety, hours and pay, balance in work and life pursuits and benefits to be commensurate with tenure.

They have also said that technical skills and product expertise required at Apple are superior to those at other retail jobs. And an underlying theme is that Apple has been slow to increase worker compensation while profits at the company have soared.