Apple workers in Maryland have voted by almost a two-to-one margin to join a union, and have become the first retail giant in the technology giant to join a union in the United States.
More than 100 workers in Towson near Baltimore voted 65-33 on Saturday to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union said.
The local workers, who form the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (Core), “have the support of a solid majority of our employees,”[ads1]; they said in a statement.
“This is something we do not do [do] to oppose or create conflict with our management, “they said.
A spokesman for Apple, which responded to a request for comment, said in an email that the company had “nothing to add at this time”.
The union work is gaining momentum in some major US companies, including Amazon and Starbucks.
IAM and Apple employees who wanted to join said they had sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a message last month that they wanted to organize a union. The statement said that their driving motivation was to seek “rights we do not currently have”.
IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said in the statement: “I applaud the courage shown by Core members in the Apple Store in Towson to have achieved this historic victory. They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the country who had their eyes on this election. “
Martinez urged Apple to respect the election results and let the unionized staff speed up efforts to secure a contract at the Towson site.
The union considers itself one of the largest and most diverse industrial unions in North America, and represents around 600,000 active and retired members in aviation, defense, airlines, railways, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.
The vote could not be immediately confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board, which had to confirm the outcome.
Atlanta workers in Atlanta who sought to organize withdrew their request last month and made threats.
Last year, some current and former Apple employees began criticizing the company’s working conditions online, using the hashtag #AppleToo.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report