Apple ready to negotiate with its first US store to unionize: Source

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Apple Inc. accept the result of a vote by Maryland store employees become its first American employees to join a union and is ready to negotiate with them, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Apple is one of many large US companies whose workforces have decided to unionize, with workers at some Starbucks Corp and Amazon Inc locations also voting to join a union in recent months.

Nearly two-thirds of employees at the Apple store in Towson, Maryland, who organized as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), voted to join a union last week. The store is the first of about 270 Apple US outlets to do so.

The successful vote came after another planned vote in Georgia was canceled earlier this year.

Apple intends to participate in the negotiation process in “good faith”, the person familiar with the matter said.

Maryland employees voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

In a statement, David Sullivan, union vice president for the Eastern Territory, said members “look forward to negotiating with Apple and securing a strong first contract that brings positive change for Apple workers.” Apple and the customers they are proud to serve.”

Companies have responded to employees’ efforts to organize in different ways.

Amazon has challenged the outcome of a New York warehouse union plan, while Microsoft Corp Chairman Brad Smith said in a blog post earlier this month that his company would not resist efforts employees to organize.

Earlier this year, Apple employees at a store in Georgia intended to vote on unionization but overturned the vote, with union officials later filing a lawsuit alleging Apple bullied its employees. Employees at two other Apple stores in New York are also considering unionizing.

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