Maryland Workers Vote for Apple Store Strike

The first Apple Store strike in the US could be underway this year after a Maryland store voted to authorize a work stoppage against the company. 

Apple on Strike?

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Apple Inc. could be on the path to seeing its first-ever retail employee strike in the US after Apple store workers in Maryland supported a union proposal to strike in the midst of ongoing union negotiations.

Weekend Meeting Held

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The historic decision to authorize a work stoppage was made in a Baltimore suburb late Saturday evening.

Union Representation

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The Apple employees at Towson Town Center Apple store plan to strike alongside their union, The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (IAM CORE).

“Unresolved Workplace Issues”

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IAM CORE announced the decision in a news release, where it cites “the frustrations among workers regarding unresolved workplace issues” that had spurred on the vote.

Demonstrating Solidarity and Sending a Message

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“This vote today is the first step in demonstrating our solidarity and sends a clear message to Apple,” the union committee announced on Saturday.

2 Years of Union

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Towson Apple employees, which are numbered approximately 100, joined the union in 2022.

Two Potentially Historic Moments

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Despite Apple having 270 retail locations across the US the Towson group were the first employees to unionize in the country and could be the first to officially strike against the monolithic tech company.

One Year of Negotiations

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For the last year, the union has been negotiating with Apple on their behalf, with a focus on scheduling practices and low wages that could be considered unstable considering the area’s cost of living.

Key Disagreements

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The negotiations began on January 23, and while agreements have been reached on 23 issues according to a union representative, they have failed to find a middle ground on some of those most important topics such as pay, overtime, and scheduling.

Bad Faith Agents?

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IAM CORE has been working toward a fixed contract stipulating these factors but has reported that the company has not negotiated in good faith, an accusation that the company has obliquely denied in emails.

Apple Responds

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Apple gave a statement in regard to the union vote confirming that it has every intention of engaging with the union “respectfully and in good faith.”

“Proud to Provide Industry-Leading Compensation and Benefits”

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“We deeply value our team members and we’re proud to provide them with industry-leading compensation and exceptional benefits,” it continued. So far no dates have been given for when a strike might take place.

No Plans to Stand Down

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The union has made it clear that they have no intention of standing down. “As discussions with Apple management continue, we remain committed to securing tangible improvements that benefit all employees,” their statement added.

“Unwavering Commitment” to Workers

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“The passage of the strike sanction vote highlights IAM CORE’s unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of workers in the face of challenges,” it continued.

New Jersey Vote Falls Through

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Apple workers in New Jersey also held a vote to join the Communications Workers of America on Saturday but the employees eventually voted against it, according to Bloomberg.

Accusations of Union-Busting

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CWA alleges that the unionization attempt for the Short Hills Mall store failed due to union-busting behavior by the tech company.

“Usual Anti-Union Playbook”

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“Instead of leaving the decision up to the workers themselves, the company turned to its usual anti-union playbook to influence the results of the election,” the union told Bloomberg in a statement given shortly after the vote.

Global Union Movements

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While a strike in Maryland would be the most drastic move taken by an American outlet as of yet, it is far from the first time it has happened around the world. In September last year, Apple workers in France went on strike over poor working conditions and low pay.

A Growing Trend

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The recent backlash against Apple is part of a wave of union action taken against major corporations in the US in the last year. The “Big Three” automotive manufacturers in Detroit were faced with mass work stoppages last year.

Hollywood and Beyond

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Hollywood also saw actors and writers striking for a record-breaking four-month period, and Amazon and Starbucks teams are seeking to unionize in droves.

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The postMaryland Workers Vote for Apple Store Strike first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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