US President Joe Biden applauded Apple Inc store workers near Baltimore after they voted for a union Saturday, becoming the first organised outlet in the US.
“I’m proud of them. Look, you know, workers have a right to determine under what conditions they are gonna work or not work,” Biden told reporters Monday during morning walk near his Delaware beach house.
The decision of workers at Apple’s Towson, Maryland, store to unionise may change the face of the tech giant’s retail operation. It also may spark a wider unionisation movement among Apple store workers, similar to the first Starbucks Corp union vote last year that has since prompted almost 300 other stores to file for elections.
Biden, who’s pledged to be the most pro-union president in US history, has placed a renewed focus on promoting his ties with labour ahead of the November midterm elections.
He’s invited union organisers to the White House, and spoke last month to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International convention in Chicago and in April to the North America’s Building Trades Unions.
The initiative has included endorsing unionisation efforts at Starbucks and Amazon Inc. along with staff on Capitol Hill. Earlier this month in Los Angeles, Biden touted efforts of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to combat delays at the nation’s ports that are contributing to supply-chain issues.
The union victory at Apple is likely to breathe new life into the labour movement’s mission to organise the wider tech sector, which suffered a setback after an Apple store in Atlanta cancelled its election last month. Those workers, organised by the Communications Workers of America, blamed an alleged union-busting campaign by Apple and said it planned to re-file for an election later.
Biden on Monday lauded union members as “the best workers in the world”, who “break their neck” to learn a trade.
As a result, “Everybody’s better off, including the final product is always better,” he said. – Bloomberg