Workersin a Scottish Apple store have now officially become the first in the UK to unionise after signing a formal agreement with the American tech giant.

As exclusively detailed in The Herald in November last year, staff at Apple's Buchanan Street branch took the step of voting for union recognition in a call for fairer pay and workplace practices.

That vote has now persuaded Apple management to sign a collective bargaining agreement to recognise GMB Scotland membership in the Glasgow city centre computer shop.

GMB organiser John Slaven called the agreement "historic".

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He said: "This agreement is historic and our members in the Glasgow store are a beacon of hope across the world to show that you can organise to make work better.  

"We look to build a good relationship with Apple while being passionate advocates for members' interests." 

This marks the first collective agreement with a trade union signed by Apple in the UK after the firm last year agreed to a voluntary recognition ballot after lengthy negotiations.

Staff joined the GMB union citing a wish to have greater power over pay negotiations and shift patterns, among other issues, and their action is believed to have influenced others at branches around Scotland and the UK to do similar.

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Buchanan Street's store, which opened in 2007, is one of two branches in and near Glasgow, the other being at Braehead Shopping Centre in Renfrewshire.

Union representatives had described the tone of negotiations with Apple as consistently positive but it has taken several months to reach the stage of conducting a ballot.

The firm recognises unions in Europe, in France and Swede, and there are steps being taken by workers in stores across America to introduce unionisation.

Employees said the cost-of-living crisis had been a catalyst to push for change, particularly in pay transparency, and had encouraged colleagues to support one another collectively.

One Apple staff member previously told The Herald staff need a "proper voice".

The worker said: "In the UK, Apple have staff forums but ... feedback is ignored.

"It is a one-way conversation. We need our own representatives and a proper voice to change things."

READ MORE: Glasgow Apple store staff become the first to vote to unionise

Apple has 270 stores across America and unions there said more than two dozen of those stores had employees looking to seek formal recognition.

Fellow US global corporations Starbucks and Amazon have also seen increasing bids from employees to unionise with more than 200 Starbucks stores in America now having voted to unionise.

A spokesman for the company said: “We have long been committed to providing an excellent experience for our customers and teams. 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.”