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Workers at Maryland store become 1st Apple employees in U.S. to vote for union

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 6/20/2022 Sommer Brokaw
The vote in Towson, Md., was the first by any Apple employees in the United States to support unionization. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI © John Angelillo/UPI The vote in Towson, Md., was the first by any Apple employees in the United States to support unionization. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

June 20 (UPI) -- In a historic vote over the weekend, Apple employees in Maryland voted to unionize -- the first time the tech giant has faced such a proposition with their workers in the United States.

Workers at the Apple store in Towson, Md., just one of nearly 300 U.S. locations, voted to organize on Saturday.

About 110 workers were eligible to vote. Sixty-five voted to unionize and 33 voted against organizing under the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or AppleCORE.

The National Labor Relations Board announced the union election result. Apple did not immediately comment on the vote.

AppleCORE and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers told Apple CEO Tim Cook of the unionizing effort last month to "access to rights we do not currently have." The Apple workers in Towson released a video in May explaining why they wanted to organize.

"We talk about this country as a place where democracy thrives, but we work 80% of our lives in an environment where we have no democracy, we have no vote in things that affect us," employee Kevin Gallagher says in the video.

Workers in the video also asked for better wages and COVID-19 protections, and noted that Cook earned almost $100 million at Apple last year.

The Towson store was the first in the United States to hold a union election. A store in Atlanta had been planning a vote, but later withdrew the request -- saying that "Apple's repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act have made a free and fair election impossible."

Last month, Vice reported a leaked memo from Apple to its store managers with anti-union talking points.

There aren't any other union elections scheduled for Apple workers, but employees at a New York store are collecting signatures to petition for a vote, in association with the Communications Workers of America. Workers in Kentucky have also been petitioning to hold a union vote.

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