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Staff At First Unionized Apple Store In US Could Go On Strike

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Workers at an Apple retail store in Maryland have voted to authorize a potential strike amid ongoing contract negotiations with Apple. 

The vote, which took place on Saturday, May 12, near Baltimore, empowers the union's bargaining committee to initiate a strike at their discretion. 

However, no specific date for a strike has been set.

The store was the first in the US to unionize last year.

This decision marks a major escalation in the labor dispute at the Towson, Maryland, store.

It represents about 100 employees and could lead to the country's first-ever strike by Apple employees. 

The store's workers are represented by the local chapter of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. 

Contract discussions are set to continue on May 21.

"This vote today is the first step in demonstrating our solidarity and sends a clear message to Apple"

Negotiations between the parties began in January 2023, focusing on improving working conditions and employee benefits. 

To date, the union reports there are tentative agreements on 25 issues, including grievance procedures, performance evaluations, and nondiscrimination policies. 

However, progress has stalled on key economic factors like wages, overtime compensation, and scheduling.

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Negotiating committee members said: “This vote today is the first step in demonstrating our solidarity and sends a clear message to Apple.

“We remain committed to securing tangible improvements that benefit all employees.”

Apple said it would continue negotiating with the union representing Towson workers in good faith. 

The company said: “We deeply value our team members and we’re proud to provide them with industry leading compensation and exceptional benefits.”

The movement at the Towson store has had a ripple effect, inspiring another group of Apple retail employees in Oklahoma City to unionize in October 2022. 

This second group, part of over 270 Apple stores across the US, joined the Communications Workers of America.

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