Apple workers in Maryland voted by nearly two to one to join a union, becoming the first retail employees of the tech giant to join a union in the United States.
Over 100 workers in Tucson, near Baltimore It voted 65-33 Saturday to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union said.
In a statement, they said local workers, who make up the (core) Regulated Retail Employee Alliance, “have the support of the vast majority of our co-workers.”
“This is something we don’t do [do] to oppose or create a conflict with our management.”
In response to a request for comment, via email, an Apple spokesperson said the company “has nothing to add at this time.”
Union formation efforts are gaining momentum at some of the large US companies, including Amazon and Starbucks.
IAM and Apple employees who wanted to join said they sent a notice to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month that they were seeking to organize a union. Their motive, the statement said, was to pursue “rights we do not currently have.”
“I applaud the courage shown by the Core members at the Apple Store in Tucson to achieve this historic victory,” IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said in the statement. They made tremendous sacrifices for the thousands of Apple employees across the country who have been watching This election.”
Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and allow union employees to accelerate efforts to secure a contract at the Tucson site.
The union considers itself one of the largest and most diverse industrial labor unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, defense, airlines, railroads, transit, health care, automobiles, and other industries.
It was not immediately possible to confirm the vote with the National Labor Relations Board, which will have to ratify the result.
Apple workers in Atlanta who were seeking unionization withdrew their order last month, alleging intimidation.
Some current and former Apple employees last year began criticizing the company’s working conditions online, using the hashtag #AppleToo.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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