Portland News

Apple Store’s Union Efforts in Towson, Maryland Could Inspire Other Stores to Follow Suit

The union efforts seen in Towson, Maryland's Apple store could spark other stores to follow suit
The union efforts seen in Towson, Maryland's Apple store could spark other stores to follow suit

Labor organizations have grown over the past couple of months with Amazon and Starbucks leading the pack, and recently, Apple has shown indications of more stores forming a union following a victory in Maryland.

An Apple store in Towson, Maryland was able to secure a unionization, which many experts believe will open the door for other stores across the United States to follow.

With the size of typical Apple stores, it seemed unlikely that a unionized organization could form or succeed. Given the number of workers in an Apple store compared to a Starbucks shop, the organization is far more difficult and consuming. Apple’s wide latitude to oppose unionization is another factor that could hinder union efforts.

Read also: NLRB Working to Reinstate Buffalo Starbucks Employees After Their Recent Dismissal

Against all odds, the Apple store workers from Maryland were able to show that it is possible for stores of the gadget corporation to form a union. The campaign at the store was led by David DiMaria, an organizer of IAMAW or the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

“These workers have inspired lots of other Apple workers around the country,” said DiMaria.

The unionization victory in Maryland generated interest from other Apple store employees “in all types of markets all over the country,” said DiMaria. He and IAMAW chose not to share the number of stores represented by the workers.

The campaign in Maryland started as far back as 2021, coinciding with other efforts from different Apple stores across the country. In New York, a store in the Grand Central Terminal is undergoing a union drive, but in Atlanta, a store had to withdraw its request for a union vote due to logistical challenges posed by COVID-19 and Apple’s anti-union efforts.

Back in May, the tech corporation raised its entry-level pay from $20 to $22 per hour to appease its retail employees.

As more Apple stores are organizing, union activity in the United States is also increasing. Petitions for union elections increased by 57% in the first six months of the fiscal year 2022, according to data released by the National Labor Relations Board in April.

Despite the victory in Maryland, experts are under the impression that it will be difficult for Apple stores to vote for a union. They attribute their speculations to the number of workers; for example, the Maryland store has ninety-eight workers compared to the average 30 employees in Starbucks.

Apple’s anti-union campaign also proves to be a mountain to climb, limiting or slowing down organization at stores. Experts point out that Apple’s opposition could backfire and strengthen the resolve to spread labor campaigns.

Read also: Gap Between Amazon and Its Union Continues to Widen

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.