“I’m proud of them,” the president said, according to a White House pool report. “Workers have the right to decide under what conditions they will work or not. And I think what everyone misunderstands about unions is that they, especially in the professions, are the best workers in the world.”
The International Aerospace and Machinists Association handily won an election at the Towson Center store outside of Baltimore last week, where workers voted 65 to 33 to join the union, according to a tally by the National Labor Relations Board on Saturday. Apple has a week to apply for the election.
The Apple election results follow similar groundbreaking labor movement victories at Starbucks, Amazon and REI in recent months. A string of high-profile victories has left union leaders and supporters hoping for a tipping point, and union membership now stands at just 6.1% in the private sector.
Biden has used the bullying platform to promote the union movement, and in a speech last week at the AFL-CIO convention, Biden reaffirmed his promise to be “the most pro-union president” ever. “I promised you that I would be him, and I promise: as long as I have this job, I will remain it,” he said.
Biden has indeed demonstrated a level of support for public unions that few, if any, of his predecessors had. AT speech Last year, he criticized companies trying to interfere in union elections, in the same way that Amazon did meetings with the audience to dissuade workers from unionizing. And after workers won union elections in a New York warehouse earlier this year, Biden said:Amazon here we go. ”
“Workers have the right to decide under what conditions they will work or not.”
— Joe Biden
In the case of Apple, organizational campaigns are already brewing at other outlets in New York and Atlanta, and a decisive vote in Maryland could spur workers elsewhere to ask the labor council to vote.
Last month, Towson store employees sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook saying they “came together as a union out of a deep love for our role as workers in the company and out of concern for the company itself.” Apple opposed organizational efforts, and store managers urged workers vote against the union.