Apple Store workers in Maryland begin union drive

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Workers at an Apple store in Maryland are taking steps to unionize, CNBC confirmed Tuesday. It’s the third store to effort a campaign, setting up a potential labor battle with Apple.

Organizers at the Towson Mall location, which is near Baltimore, have been coordinating with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The group has signatures from more than 65% of employees who would likely be eligible to vote, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the news.

The group would organize as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, or AppleCore, the outlet said. They notified Apple CEO Tim Cook of their plans and intend to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board in the coming days, according to the Post.

Worker activism has surged since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the nation in early 2020, leading to a strained labor market. Workers have seized the moment to demand higher wages and improved benefits.

Last month, the Apple retail store in the Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, became the first to file for a union election. Workers at Apple’s flagship Grand Central Terminal retail store in New York City are also taking steps to unionize.

AppleCore is demanding greater bargaining power over coronavirus precautions, pay and hours, the outlet said. Officials said that while Apple’s revenue has grown rapidly, the company has been slow to increase pay, according to the Post.

An Apple spokesperson reiterated an earlier statement given for prior unionization efforts in Atlanta and New York.

“We are pleased to offer very strong compensation and benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, paid family leave, annual stock grants and many other benefits,” a spokesperson said.

Read the full report from The Washington Post.

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