Apple ‘Prepared To Negotiate’ With Unionised Staff

Apple prepared to accept successful unionisation vote at Maryland store and begin negotiations, report says, as US union interest surges

Apple may be preparing to accept the outcome of a vote to unionise by staff at one of its retail outlets in Maryland and to negotiate with the new union, a report has suggested.

Nearly two-thirds of employees at the store in Towson, Maryland voted earlier this month to form the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (Core or AppleCore), the company’s first retail outlet in the US to do so.

The firm has not yet made public comments about the result.

Reuters cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter as saying that Apple was prepared to accept the vote and begin negotiations.

Staff at Towson Apple Store following vote. Image credit: IAM
Staff at Towson Apple Store following the vote to form a union. Image credit: IAM

Unionisation

The person said Apple intends to participate in the bargaining process “in good faith”.

The company operates about 270 outlets in the United States.

Employees at another Apple Store in Georgia called off a vote earlier this year, with union officers later filing a complaint alleging that Apple intimidated employees.

The Maryland employees voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

David Sullivan, IAM’s eastern territory vice president, said in a statement that the employees “look forward to bargaining with Apple and obtaining a strong first contract that makes positive changes for Apple workers and the customers they are proud to serve”.

Wave of activity

Staff at two other Apple retail outlets in New York are also considering whether to unionise.

Interest in unions has surged in large US companies in recent months, with several Starbucks locations voting to unionise and the first-ever successful union vote by a US Amazon warehouse in Staten Island.

Amazon has fended off several other attempted votes to unionise and is challenging the vote at the Staten Island facility.

But Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post earlier this month that the company will not resist employees’ organisation efforts.