Amazon and Starbucks are two of the biggest corporations that have witnessed a growing labor organization in the past couple of months, and Apple is tipped to follow suit with a victory from a store in Maryland.
In Towson, Maryland, an Apple store was successful in unionizing. Experts believe that the victory will pave the way for a string of similar situations occurring nationwide in other Apple stores.
People believed that a unionized organization in Apple would be unable to rally together and succeed with how large the staff is compared to that of a Starbucks shop. The sheer number alone makes it difficult and time-consuming to organize, but the addition of Apple’s wide latitude to oppose unionization could hinder union efforts.
However, the Apple store workers in Maryland showed that while it is difficult, unionization is possible. David DiMaria, an organizer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers or IAMAW, led the campaign at the store.
“These workers have inspired lots of other Apple workers around the country,” said DiMaria.
The victory of the Maryland store generated interest from other Apple store employees “in all types of markets all over the country,” revealed DiMaria. He declined to reveal the number of total stores represented by the workers.
The Maryland campaign started in 2021 and coincided with similar efforts from other Apple stores. A store in Atlanta had to withdraw its request for a union vote in May due to Apple’s anti-union efforts and COVID-19’s logistical challenges. However, employees at a store in Grand Central Terminal in New York are in the process of holding a union drive.
Two months ago, Apple raised the entry-level pay from $20 to $22 per hour for its retail employees.
The increasing number of Apple stores organizing contributes to the increase in union activity across the United States. The National Labor Relations Board released data that showed petitions for union elections increasing by 57% in April.
While victorious, experts speculate that Apple stores that attempt to vote for a union will encounter a number of problems due to the number of its workers.
In Maryland, the Apple store had ninety-eight workers, more than triple the number of a typical Starbucks store. Additionally, Apple’s anti-union campaign plays a significant factor, limiting or slowing down organization. Experts believe the employers’ opposition could strengthen the resolve for labor campaigns.