Employees of an Apple store in the US approve a union

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Employees at an Apple store in suburban Baltimore voted 2-1 to unionize Saturday, joining a growing tide in support of organizing for greater labor protections in the technology, retail and service sectors, a union reported.

Workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to join the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union announced.

The result of the vote was not immediately confirmed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which would have to certify it. The board also did not immediately respond to messages asking for questions.

In a phone call with The Associated Press, Apple spokesman Josh Lipton declined to comment.

Union organizing in a variety of fields has recently gained momentum after decades of declining union membership in the United States. Organizers have worked to establish unions at companies including Amazon, Starbucks, Google parent company Alphabet, and outdoor activities retailer REI.

The IAM and Apple employees who wanted to join said they sent a notice to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month that they were seeking to form a union. The statement said that his main motivation was to seek “rights that we currently do not have.” He added that workers recently organized into the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE).

“I applaud the courage of CORE members at the Apple Store in Towson for achieving this historic victory,” union president Robert Martinez Jr. said in a statement.

“They made a huge sacrifice for the thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had their eyes on” this vote, he added.

It’s unclear what’s next after the Towson vote. Labor experts say it’s common for employers to drag out the bargaining process to detract from union campaigns.

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