Apple shop workers in Baltimore suburb win milestone vote to unionise

Apple logo on store in New York, USA. MARCH 14, 2020 FILE PHOTO
Apple logo on store in New York, USA. MARCH 14, 2020 FILE PHOTO   -  Copyright  Kathy Willens/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By Daniel Bellamy  with AP, AFP

In another symbolic milestone for workers in the United States, a majority of employees at an Apple shop in Maryland have voted to form the tech giant's first union.

Of the 110 employees at the Apple store in Towson, a suburb of Baltimore, 65 workers voted in favour and 33 against.

Although it was not the first time employees at an Apple store have tried to unionise, it was the first attempt that resulted in a successful vote.

The group of employees called AppleCORE (Coalition of Organized Retail Employees) had campaigned for unionisation, demanding a say on wages, hours and safety measures.

Saturday's vote result follows several other symbolic victories among workers for US giants, including the likes of Amazon and Starbucks.

Unions in the US on the wane

America's unions had been on the decline for decades, but workers who want to unionise now have the government's support under President Joe Biden.

However, it is not yet clear though how smoothly the unionisation process will be for the Apple workers in Towson.

The vote is one of many unionisation drives occurring at global giants such as Starbucks and Amazon.

Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City voted to unionise in April, the first successful US organising effort in the retail giant's history. 

Workers at another Amazon warehouse on Staten Island overwhelmingly rejected a union bid last month.

Meanwhile, Starbucks workers at dozens of US stores have voted to unionise in recent months, after two of the coffee chain's stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionise late last year.

Young workers in their 20s and teens have been behind most unionisation efforts.