Towson Apple Store Employees Say Company Denied New Benefits

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TOWSON - Towson Apple Store employees were the first in the country to unionize earlier this year. In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, they claim Apple has excluded them from new educational and medical benefits.

The Apple Store at 825 Dulaney Valley Rd made history in June by joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (IAM CORE). Employees at the Towson Apple location were the first to join a union in the United States.

Employees voted to unionize 65-33, citing concerns over COVID-19 policy, compensation, and workplace environment.

On Friday, IAM CORE penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to protest the perceived exclusion from benefits given to the rest of the company's employees.

"We write to express our disappointment with the reports that Apple will exclude IAM CORE members in Towson, Md., from certain educational and medical benefits offered to all other Apple employees."

Apple offers a suite of benefits for its full-time employees, including paid family leave, health care, tuition reimbursement, new parental leave, annual stock grants, and more. Apple has claimed that unionized employees are not entitled to benefits not explicitly outlined in their union contracts.

In their letter, IAM CORE says that Apple's decision not to include them in the new benefits was a strategic effort to dissuade an Oklahoma Apple Store from voting to unionize.

"We are particularly disheartened by the calculated nature of this action, reflected both by its timing (days before the vote by our fellow Apple employees in Oklahoma) and its implementation (initially through anonymous reports to the media)."

The Oklahoma Apple location in question voted to join IAM earlier this month.

IAM CORE says they seek an agreement that gives its members "the proper respect and dignity and "sets the standard in the tech industry."

"We formed a union because we care deeply about the future of Apple and our colleagues throughout the world. Our goal is to be partners; no one understands the customer experience more than we, the frontline Apple employees. The IAM CORE negotiating committee is dedicated to securing a collective bargaining agreement that gives IAM CORE members proper respect and dignity at work and sets the standard in the tech industry."

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