Apple Workers at Maryland Store Vote to Strike

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Apple store workers in Towson, Maryland have voted to authorize a strike as its employees’ union continues negotiations with the tech giant for a fair contract.

Apple has two unionized stores in the US, one of which is the Towson store which unionized in 2022 and the other of which is in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma. The two stores are represented by different unions. Towson staff are about 100 staff who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Coalition of Organized Retail employees (IAM CORE), while the Oklahoma City staff are represented by the Communications Workers of America.

“This vote today is the first step in demonstrating our solidarity and sends a clear message to Apple,” said members of the IAM CORE Negotiating Committee in a statement. “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.” 

IAM CORE has been negotiating with Apple for a contract for over a year, since January 2023, and alleges that Apple has been bargaining in bad faith. The union has already filed multiple Unfair Labor Practice charges against Apple. The union and Apple have tentatively agreed on some areas, but talks are ongoing.

A union survey of Apple employees published earlier this year notes that most Apple employees don’t think the tech giant supports their right to form a union, believe Apple’s retaliation against them for joining a union is very possible, and allege that Apple has already attempted to “coerce or influence” staff to stop them from unionizing.

Apple’s Towson store workers are asking for wages that keep up with the region’s cost of living, protections that improve work-life balance, and better shift-scheduling practices. The union is working toward finalizing agreements on employee 401k plans and severance pay, among other issues. Last year, Towson’s unionized Apple employees said they also want to be able to accept tips from customers without being fired.

While talks are ongoing, Apple Towson’s union has already secured some wins for its members to improve their quality of life. The union notes in a post that it’s seen nationwide wage increases for Apple employees. The talks have also paused job and policy changes the union calls “more harmful than good.”

PCMag has reached out to Apple for comment.