Apple’s first unionized location in Maryland has filed a new complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over the company’s withholding benefits through the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the labor group representing the store.
Recently, the tech giant introduced new education and health perks for corporate and retail employees including paying tuition for outside education in advance, providing free membership for a program with Coursera Inc., and a healthcare plan that waives co-pays for some company-approved doctors in the UnitedHealth Group Inc. network. in Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey.
At the time of the announcement, the company was quick to inform the employees at its sole union store in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland that the new benefits would not be applicable to them because they would have to be negotiated under the collective bargaining arrangement with the union.
NLRB might find Apple’s exclusion of union workers from benefits unlawful
As per the report, the Federal labor law in the United States does not allow employers with union workers to change job terms without negotiation but there is a possibility that NLRB might find Apple’s exclusion of the union workers from benefits unlawful.
The case highlights the murky legal terrain that employers with a mixture of union and nonunion workers face when changing benefits. Federal labor law generally prohibits companies from altering job terms without bargaining, but the NLRB may consider it unlawful discrimination to exclude union workers from benefit changes provided to other employees.
Having said that, the availability of new benefits at select locations can be a “wrinkle” for the Maryland store union.
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