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First in the U.S. Apple Store workers agree to Union

Apple workers in Baltimore voted Saturday to join a union, making it the first U.S. retailer to do so.

Workers at the Towson, Md. store voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Once a contract is ratified, it will be effective.¬†Saturday night’s initial count was 65-33. The official count was still pending.

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The workers and IAM wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month to inform him of their intention to form the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (or AppleCore).

As workers band together to demand better pay, benefits and more negotiation leverage during the pandemic, this vote is part of an increasing organizing wave across the country.

New York’s first Amazon warehouse voted in spring to form a union.

Many Starbucks stores have joined the union, and labor movements have expanded to include REI Outdoor and Raven Software Video Game Makers.

Towson Apple employee Billy Jarboe said that Apple’s campaign against the organizing effort “definitely shaken people”, but that most union supporters remained strong.

Jarboe wrote that “it just feels good to enter a new age of this type of work, hopefully it creates spark [and] other stores can utilize this momentum,” after Saturday’s vote.

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