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Maryland Apple store workers vote 65-33: join bid to unionise

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Maryland Apple store workers vote 65-33: join bid to unionise
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TOWSON (US): Adding to the growing push among retail, service and tech industries across the US to organize for better safeguards in workplaces, employees of a Baltimore suburb Apple store on Saturday voted to unionise by a margin of 2 to 1.

The union said in a statement that Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek admission to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The National Labor Relations Board could not immediately confirm the votes and said that the result needs to be certified. An NLRB spokesperson referred preliminary questions about the vote to its regional office, which closed by the end of Saturday.

Josh Lipton, the company spokesperson on a call to the Associated Press said that Apple has declined to comment on the development. After decades of decline in U.S. union membership, union organization in various sectors has recently gained momentum.

In a statement, they said that their main motivation was to seek "rights we do not currently have." It added that the workers had recently organized in the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or CORE.

"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory. They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had eyes on this election," said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in the statement, according to the Associated Press.

Martinez urged Apple to respect the election results and to allow unionised employees to expedite efforts to secure a contract at the Townson location.

Representing close to 600,000 active as well as retired members, the union views itself as one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America and has members in aerospace, defense, airlines, railroads, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.

It is unknown at this time about the steps that would follow this vote in Towson.

Labor experts say that in order to take the wind out of union campaigns, employees most of the time try and lengthen the stages of the negotiation. The unionisation of this Apple Store comes at a time when other workers are organizing across the country - some of which have been rejected.

The first successful effort in the retail giant's history in the US was when workers at New York City Amazon warehouse voted to unionise in April. At the same time, the same union bid was overwhelmingly rejected by Amazon workers at another Staten Island warehouse.

After two Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionise late last year, Starbucks workers in dozens of U.S. stores voted to unionise in the recent months.

Several of the efforts of unionisations were led by young people in their 20s and some cases even teens.

Alphabet Workers Union was formed last year by a group of Google engineers and other workers. Around 800 Google employees are represented by this union which is run by five people who are below 35.

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