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This is a first victory for Apple employees. A majority of employees at a U.S. Apple store have voted to form a union, a first for the tech giant, which has so far tried to discourage attempts to unionize. Of the 110 employees at the Towson, Maryland store, 65 voted in favor and 33 against, according to the count broadcast live Saturday by the federal agency responsible for supervising the ballot. A group of employees called AppleCORE (Coalition of Apple Retail Employees) campaigned for unionization. They demand a voice in deciding salaries, hours and safety measures.

Saturday’s result means workers at the store, who had been called to vote since Wednesday, should form their branch of the IAM union, once the agency certifies the results. The victory echoes that of an Amazon warehouse in New York in April, another technology group that has tried, in vain, to counter efforts to organize. It wasn’t the first Apple Store to try to unionize, but it was the first attempt that resulted in a vote. Apple’s director of distribution and human resources, Deirdre O’Brien, had visited the store in May to address employees.

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“Your Right”

“It’s your right to join a union, but it’s also your right not to join a union,” she told them, according to an audio excerpt broadcast by the Vice site. She had assured that the presence of an intermediary would complicate the relationship between Apple and its employees. The Californian group, contacted by AFP, refused to comment on the news. On the decline for several decades, the unions have won several symbolic victories in the United States in recent months, starting with the explicit support of Joe Biden.

The creation of the first union in a Starbucks coffee directly managed by the chain in the United States in December aroused enthusiasm while employees, often young and educated, mobilized in NGOs, universities, museums, media. At Amazon, the employees of a New York warehouse created a surprise in early April by voting by majority in favor of the creation of a union, a first for the group in the United States. But the company asked for the cancellation of this result and the organization of a second ballot.

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