Apple store employees in Towson, Maryland have organized a union and petitioned to hold an official union election. This marks the third Apple retail location in recent weeks that has taken significant steps toward becoming the first formally recognized Apple union, following stores in Manhattan and Atlanta.
Calling themselves AppleCORE (Coalition of Organized Retail Employees), the union claims to have the support of the majority of employees at the store and is operating with the support of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
“We have come together as a union because of a deep love of our role as workers within the company and out of care for the company itself,” AppleCORE’s letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook says. “To be clear, the decision to form a union is about us as workers gaining access to rights that we do not currently have.”
AppleCORE hasn’t yet listed specific demands it wants from Apple. Workers at the Atlanta store, represented by the Communications Workers of America, said in a statement that retail workers at Apple have been denied a living wage, cost of living adjustments and equitable stock options.
Fruit Stand Workers United, the union at the Grand Central Terminal store, is seeking a minimum pay of $30 per hour, more robust benefits including increased tuition reimbursement, more vacation time and better retirement options like higher 401(k) matching.
Right now, Apple retail wages range between $20 and $30 per hour, plus some Apple stock. Apple retail workers also have access to healthcare and tuition reimbursement benefits.
In order to gain formal recognition, these unions must earn over 50% of votes at an election, orchestrated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Atlanta store could be first to unionize, as they’re expected to vote starting June 2. As of its announcement to file for an election, over 70% of more than 100 employees at the Atlanta store had indicated support for the union.