Workers at an Apple store in the US have formed a union for the first time.
Apple’s retail workers voted “by an overwhelming majority to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers” on Saturday, the union wrote on its website. Of the 110 employees at the Towson, Maryland store, 65 voted in favor and 33 voted against.
The employees demand participation in wages, working hours and safety measures.
As a result of Saturday’s decision, Apple store employees will form a section of the IAM machine builders’ union once the federal agency confirms the outcome. IAM Chairman Robert Martinez hailed the “courage” of Apple employees, saying the victory reflects “the increasing demands for unions in Apple stores and in various sectors of the economy in our nation.”
When asked by the AFP news agency, Apple said the company “refused to comment”.
Apple workers in Towson are the first Apple retail workers to unionize. Apple workers in Atlanta who wanted to unionize withdrew their application last month. They justified this with attempts at intimidation.
Apple HR chief Deirdre O’Brien visited the Towson store in May – and pointed out, among other things, that a union would “complicate” the relationship between Apple and its employees as a “mediator”.