The Apple store front with the logo on glass.
Image: © hanohiki/

Apple store in Scotland becomes first in the UK to unionise

3 Nov 2022

Louise Gilmour of the GMB trade union said it looked forward to ‘building a productive relationship with Apple in Glasgow’.

Workers at one of Apple’s two Glasgow stores have voted to unionise, marking a first in the UK.

According to a report by The Herald, the priority for workers at the Buchanan Street store in Glasgow city centre is pushing for an increase in their hourly pay, which currently stands at £12.

Apple said, in response, that it is one of the highest paying retailers in Scotland.

The tech giant agreed to a voluntary recognition ballot after large numbers of its Buchanan Street employees joined the GMB Scotland trade union.

Apple recognises unions for retail workers in some countries across Europe, while there is currently a big push for union representation in the US. Last month, workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma voted to join a union, marking the second unionised Apple store in the US.

There are moves being made across the UK to take similar action to the Buchanan Street workers, according to The Herald.

John Slaven, organiser with GMB, hailed the move to unionise as “historic” and paid tribute to the work of activists and workers in Glasgow.

“The vote is astonishing in terms of the size of the majority as workers have spoken with a clear and overwhelming voice,” he said.

Louise Gilmour, Scottish secretary of the GMB, added that the union looks forward to “building a productive relationship with Apple in Glasgow”.

“The ballot was conducted in a professional and respectful manner,” she said. “This is a historic vote and is a tribute to the mostly young workers who have made it clear they see unionisation with the GMB as the way to make work better and build a fairer workplace.”

There are no Apple stores in the Republic of Ireland, but there is one at Victoria Square in Belfast.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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