FILIPZAJAC Technology Apple employees in Maryland vote to authorize strike

Apple employees in Maryland vote to authorize strike

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Employees at an Apple store in a Baltimore suburb voted to authorize a strike on Saturday, setting up what could be the first work stoppage at any Apple retail store in the country.

The Towson, Md., employees claim the tech giant isn’t bargaining in good faith as they negotiate a union contract.

The group of about 100 employees are organized under the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (IAM CORE). The location was the first Apple store to form a union in 2022 of over 270 retail locations nationwide.

“This vote today is the first step in demonstrating our solidarity and sends a clear message to Apple,” the union negotiating committee said in a statement Saturday. “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. As discussions with Apple management continue, we remain committed to securing tangible improvements that benefit all employees.”

A date for a potential strike has not been announced. The union said the vote comes after over a year of negotiations resulted in “unsatisfactory outcomes,” adding that a strike “underscores the frustrations among workers regarding unresolved workplace issues.”

The workers’ demands center on lacking wages, unpredictable scheduling and concerns over proper work-life balance.

Apple said the company offers “an excellent experience for our retail team members and empower them to deliver exceptional service for our customers,” in a statement to The Washington Post. “The company will “engage with the union representing our team in Towson respectfully and in good faith,” a spokesperson added.

The labor activity comes amid a wave of strikes across the country in the last year. Work stoppages halted the auto industry with a strike of the “Big Three” Detroit automakers last year, and a record four-month actors and writers strike stopped TV and film production for months.

Workers at Starbucks stores and Amazon warehouses have also moved to unionize, though they have faced fierce pushback from the companies. Auto manufacturing plans in the South have also moved to join unions as organized labor expands.

The next major union vote is at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama this week, coming just after a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted to join the United Auto Workers last month.

The Hill has reached out to Apple for comment.

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