Apple employees in Maryland have voted in favour of joining an industrial trade union, becoming the first of the technology giant’s employees to do so.
In a statement, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) said that more than 100 Apple store employees in Towson voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to unionise.
This comes after the workers formed the Coalition of Organised Retail Employees (CORE), which will become part of IAM.
Last month, CORE and IAM sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook stating their reasons for organising, which included ‘access to rights (they) do not currently have’.
IAM international president Robert Martinez Jr said: “I ask Apple CEO Tim Cook to respect the election results and fast-track a first contract for the dedicated IAM CORE Apple employees in Towson.
“This victory shows the growing demand for unions at Apple stores and different industries across our nation.”
Following the vote, an Apple spokesperson responding to Reuters journalists said that the company had ‘nothing to add at this time’.
The IAM is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing around 600,000 active and retired members of various industries.
These include the aerospace, defence, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare and automotive sectors.
Several other large US companies, including Amazon and Starbucks, have seen their workers vote to unionise in recent months.
Earlier this year, Apple unveiled plans to launch Tap to Pay on iPhone, a service for contactless payments, for US merchants later this year.
The technology will enable businesses to accept payments through Apple Pay, cards and other digital wallets without requiring additional hardware.
Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available for both payment platforms and developers to integrate into their iOS apps.