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First US Apple Store Unionizes in Maryland

In a major win for labor, employees at the Towson, Maryland Apple store voted Saturday to unionize. The 65-33 outcome stands as a landslide win for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union and a significant achievement for the unionizing movement sweeping across the country as it is the first unionized Apple store in the United States.

The vote is a troubling defeat for Apple, which has been working tirelessly to control union activity at many of its retail stores.  Among Apple’s most notable efforts to derail these unionizing attempts has been to raise the company’s minimum wage not once but twice in the past five months. The resulting minimum wage for Apple’s retail store workers is $22.00 per hour.  Corporate onlookers fear the defeat in Towson could act as a catalyst to energize Apple workers at other locations.

The National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) still needs to certify the four-day vote which ended Saturday evening. Certification by the Board could take up to a week.  Workers at the store are seeking more input on compensation, benefits and working conditions. According to the NLRB, Apple will be required to bargain with the union on these matters but not until the vote is certified.

Unfortunately for the retail giant, the Townson store is not alone. Apple stores in New York City, New York (Grand Central Station and World Trade Center locations); Atlanta, Georgia; Louisville, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee are also in various stages of unionizing.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on all issues involving unions, staying union-free, complying with the newest decision issued by the NLRB, and training management on how to deal with all these challenges. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560