Apple Store employees in Glasgow vote to unionize

It's on track to become the first unionized store in the UK.


Workers at an Apple Store in Glasgow, Scotland, voted on Wednesday to unionize. The vote came after “several” months of negotiations that eventually saw Apple agree to recognize the ballot voluntarily. According to The Herald, employees at the company’s Buchanan Street location, one of two stores Apple operates in Scotland’s most populous city, voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of joining the GMB Union. With the historic vote, the retail location is now on track to become the first unionized Apple Store in the United Kingdom.

Apple did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. “We have long been committed to providing an excellent experience for our customers and teams,” the company told The Herald. "Apple is one of the highest paying retailers in Scotland and we’ve regularly made enhancements to our industry-leading benefits as a part of the overall support we provide to our valued team members.”

The outcome is expected to prompt Apple Store workers at other retail locations across the UK to push forward with their own labor drives. “This is an absolutely historic vote and is a tribute to the hard work of activists and workers in Apple Glasgow,” said GMB Organizer John Slaven.

According to The Herald, organizers in Glasgow described negotiations with Apple as “consistently positive.” In the US, the company has been accused of employing union-busting tactics. In October, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against the company, saying it had found merit in claims from the Communications Workers of America. The union accused Apple of interrogating staff at its World Trade Center store in New York City and subjecting them to mandatory anti-union meetings. More recently, organizers at the company’s Towson Town Center location, the first Apple Store in the US to unionize, said the company was withholding benefits from its I AM CORE members.