Apple is set to introduce new employee benefits that should be enjoyed by all its Apple Store workers. However, workers in the unionized Apple Store in Towson, Maryland will only enjoy them if they negotiate, as per their union agreement.
Unionized Store Workers Not Getting New Apple Benefits (Yet)
According to a new Bloomberg report, Apple is about to give Apple workers new education and medical benefits. Unfortunately, while the benefits should be enjoyed by all employees, workers in a unionized store won’t be included. The Apple Store in Towson, Maryland voted to form a union in June. As expected with any unionized location, the bargaining agreement bars any contract changes without negotiation. This includes adding new benefits.
Should the union representing the unionized Apple Store in Towson agree to negotiate with Apple, it has to go through a bureaucratic process. If the union and Apple hold the negotiations and both parties agree on the terms and conditions, then Apple will allow its unionized workers enjoy the new benefits.
To some workers, especially in the unionized store in Towson, this could be frustrating. Since Apple is releasing new benefits for all its employees, workers who are members of the union might soon realize one implication of having a union.
[Ed. Note: To be clear, most collective bargaining agreements become a two-edged sword. While Apple cannot change the CBA to employees’ benefit without negotiation, neither can it take away benefits without doing so. Should Apple wish to end certain benefits, reduce compensation or take other measures that reflect a contractual change, those modification must go through the same negotiation process.]
More Benefits for Non-Union Apple Store
This is especially true if the leaked benefits seem too good. The rumored benefits allegedly include pre-payment of tuition for workers getting outside education. This is better than the current method of reimbursing educational expenses. The benefits also include free membership to Coursera and new health plans for some employees depending on the store location. Apple Stores located in Georgia, New York, Washington and New Jersey are some of the stores included in the new healthcare plans.
The new medical and educational benefits are just some of the perks that Apple has been introducing to attempt to prevent unionization. It announced more paid sick days, vacation days and parental leave in February. Then in June, Apple agreed to introduce flexible working arrangements for its employees.