“I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in the statement. “They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."
Martinez called on Apple to respect the election results and to let the unionizing employees fast-track efforts to secure a contract at the Towson location.
The union bills itself as one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.
It remained unclear what steps would follow the vote in Towson. Labor experts say it's common for employers to drag out the bargaining process in an effort to take the wind out of union campaigns.
The Apple store unionization comes against a backdrop of other labor organizing nationwide — some of them rebuffed.
Amazon workers at a warehouse in New York City voted to unionize in April, the first successful U.S. organizing effort in the retail giant's history. However, Amazon workers at another Staten Island warehouse overwhelmingly rejected a union bid last month. Starbucks workers at dozens of U.S. stores have voted to unionize in recent months, after two of the coffee chain's stores in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize late last year.
Many unionization efforts have been led by young workers in their 20s and even in their teens. A group of Google engineers and other workers formed Alphabet Workers Union last year, which represents around 800 Google employees and is run by five people who are under 35.