The Towson, Maryland location voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) back in June. It is the only Apple Store to have successfully managed to unionize thus far, largely due to Apple's union busting efforts.
It appears that Apple plans to use the store to dissuade others from following suit. It told retail and corporate employees this week that benefits for outside education and health care will be increased. Those perks will not be extended to the Towson store.
Apple now plans to prepay some tuition for outside education. This will start with a smart number of colleges but likely expand over time. Additionally, the company will give employees a free membership to Coursera starting on January 1st, a value of $399. In some states, including Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey, employees will get a new health care plan that waves co-pays for some Apple-approved doctors in the UnitedHealth Group.
The Towson store is being told that it must negotiate benefits with Apple via the collective bargaining arrangement that comes with a union. Starbucks has used a similar tactic with its unionized locations.
Excluding unionized stores from new benefits has also been a flashpoint in the labor dispute at Starbucks Corp., where about 250 cafes have voted to unionize over the past year. Starbucks rolled out a series of new perks at nonunion stores, including raises and student-debt coaching, while saying that it can’t legally provide them unilaterally to sites with union activity.
More details in the full report linked below...