Apple’s unionized store in Maryland has filed a labor complaint against the company

Apple Store Towson
Apple Store Towson (Image credit: Apple)

The first big fight between Apple and the union might be about to kick off.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple Towson, the company's first unionized retail store in Maryland in the United States, has filed a labor complaint against the company. The complaint, which has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board, claims that the company has intentionally withheld certain benefits from its unionized workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the labor group that is representing the store's employees, filed the complaint with the NLRB on Wednesday in response to the issue over the benefits.

Apple launched new benefits, but not to the unionized

The complaint came in response to Apple's move in October that launched a number of new health benefits to its employees but excluded employees at the Towson location. The benefits included:

  • Apple prepaying some tuition for outside education. The company has long reimbursed employees for a portion of education costs, but the iPhone maker will now pay the amount in advance. This will start at a small amount of colleges, though the list is expected to expand over time.
  • A program with Coursera Inc. beginning on Jan. 1 that gives Apple employees a free membership. Coursera is an online-course provider that normally charges $399 per year for its premium subscription.
  • In certain states, including Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Washington and New Jersey, employees will get access to a new health care plan that waives co-pays for some Apple-approved doctors within the UnitedHealth Group Inc. network.

However, the benefits were withheld from employees at the unionized store. Apple said that the reason was that, due to the union, the company needed to negotiate with them separately "via the collective bargaining arrangement that comes with a union."

The report does note that the union may have an uphill battle with its complaint due to the fact that "that new perk is only available in certain states, including Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey."

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.