“Depoliticize it, cuz it's not about that. If there is a chance to utilize these rights to create better conditions and don't worry about the dues part of it because you'll get to see the contract and do the math. If the dues are worth it, sign the contract, right? If they aren't, you don't have to sign for it. As long as the workers are on the same page.”
Billy Jarboe, AppleCore Member and Organizer
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In June 2022, more than 100 Apple store employees in Towson, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Their union is called the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (or AppleCORE) and they have joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). AppleCORE and IAM sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook in May 2022 informing him of the decision to organize their union, listing “access to rights we do not currently have” as a driving reason for the move, which has strong support from a majority of the workers.
According to Apple CORE’s statement, “Apple workers across the country are joining together to help the company live up to its values…Our commitment remains enriching lives by providing customers the best service possible. It’s time Apple and our managers acknowledge that commitment by respecting our rights and sitting down with us to negotiate over the issues that matter to us – scheduling, professional development and more. Joining together in union will provide us more power to make Apple better!”
EML Publishing had the opportunity to interview Billy Jarboe who is a member of AppleCORE and a key organizer at the Apple store in Towson where he has worked over a decade.
During this interview, we discussed:
Why employees wanted to organize a union at the Apple store;
How organizing began and why people should care, especially those who have never been in a union;
Where AppleCore is at in organizing for a contract;
Labor restlessness in other Apple stores;
Thoughts and lessons learned for others who may want to unionize their workplace; and
How people can support the AppleCore efforts.
You can learn more about AppleCore at their website (https://acoreunion.org/ and follow them on Twitter (https://twitter.com/acoreunion) and instagram (https://www.instagram.com/acoreunion/).
And you can follow Billy’s band Samskara on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/samskaraband/.
Union Solidarity Forever.
About the Labor Solidarity Podcast
The Labor Solidarity Podcast highlights the work of labor leaders while discussing historic struggles and the importance of organizing with the goal of building international labor solidarity. Learn more at: https://www.empathymedialab.com/laborsolidarity
The Labor Solidarity Podcast is a part of the EML Publishing brands and we are a proud member of The Labor Radio Podcast Network. Learn more: https://wlo.link/@empathymedialab