Apple will withhold new benefits from its Maryland-only unionized store, new reporting shows. A second location is also set to vote on unionizing.
According to BloombergThe company is planning to offer new benefits such as more funding for tuition aid and health care benefits in certain states. It also plans to offer a membership to the online course platform Coursera. These benefits are designed to respond to the economic and pandemic-related pressures workers face.
While it appears that stores that are not unionized will be able access the benefits, workers in the unionized Baltimore-area Towson, Maryland store were informed that they won’t. Bloomberg reported.
Workers vote unionize in JuneThey became the first Apple retail store to unionize. They did so despite a fierce anti-union campaign from the company, in which the company sent managers to hold anti-union meetings with workers, and told them that benefits, like one employee’s immigration assistance, could be taken away if the store unionized.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (IAM CORE), which represents the workers, expressed their frustration with the company in a statement on Wednesday.
“Despite the news from Apple today, our goal is still the same. We are urging Apple to negotiate in good faith so we can reach an agreement over the next few weeks,” the union said. “The IAM CORE negotiating committee is dedicated to securing a deal that gives our IAM CORE members the proper respect and dignity at work and sets the standard in the tech industry.”
Anti-union employers often use the tactic of withholding benefits from unionized workers. Starbucks announced earlier this year that it would be Increasing its wages to a minimum of $15 an hour, or giving a 3 percent raise, whichever is higher — but only for nonunionized stores. Since then, the company has been a member of the NEO. Similar announcementsNew benefitsUnion members will not have access to the internet.
Apple and Starbucks claim that they withhold additional benefits due to labor laws which prohibit companies from unilaterally changing things such as wages or benefits during union campaigns.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), however, has previously determined that withholding wages in a manner that appears to be designed to discourage unionization is a violation federal labor laws. In August, the NLRB found that Starbucks’s move to withhold wage raises was illegalThe court ruled that the company should pay back the payment and that the raise should be applied only to unionized workers.
Apple’s move comes as another store is slated to vote on unionizing this week. A location in Oklahoma City, OklahomaThe union election for the Communications Workers of America will be held on Thursday and Friday. Workers are optimistic that the vote will succeed, pointing out that around 70% of eligible employees have signed up for union cards since they filed for a union elections.