Workers at Apple’s Towson Town Center store in Maryland voted to unionize, with 65 yeses and 33 noes. Approximately 110 employees were eligible to vote in the election.
The store is the first Apple outlet in the United States to hold a union election, after Atlanta organizers withdrew their petition to hold a union vote, which was due to take place in early May.
The organizing at the Towson store was done by a group of employees who called themselves AppleCORE (an acronym for Coalition of Organized Retail Employees). Workers said they wanted to expand their rights, particularly demanding a say in pay, hours and safety. AppleCORE is associated with a larger and more established union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Apple has not welcomed the multiple organizing campaigns at its stores with open arms. The company hired union-busting lawyers and demanded that store and even company management tell employees why they shouldn’t join a union. Atlanta organizers even withdrew their petition to hold an election, saying Apple’s behavior made a fair vote impossible, and the company was accused of breaking unions through meetings with a captive audience at two separate locations. .
Currently, no further union elections are scheduled at Apple stores in the United States. However, workers at Apple’s Grand Central store in New York are collecting the necessary signatures to demand a vote, in association with the Communications Workers of America union. Efforts are also being made to organize an Apple store in Louisville, Kentucky.