Maryland Apple Store starting union negotiations in early 2023

Apple Towson Town Center, Maryland

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Union members from the newly-organized Apple Store in Maryland have set dates for formal negotiations with Apple management, covering employee benefits, pay scales, and more.

Towson Apple workers voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in June, and members have been training on various union topics.

In a statement seen by AppleInsider, the IAM and Apple agreed to set collective bargaining negotiation dates that would not impact this year's busy shopping season. Negotiations start on January 11, 2023, and continue on January 12, January 31, February 1, and February 2.

"Our IAM CORE negotiating team has worked on sitting across the table from the biggest company in the world," said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. "The goal of our members is to get a first contract that allows them to work together with Apple and its management as equals in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. I recognize Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team for respecting this process and agreeing to these negotiation dates."

Negotiating for benefits

According to a report in October, Apple is set to reveal new education and medical benefits for the employees and will extend to everyone except for the unionized store, at least for now. However, per the union agreement, those members must negotiate with Apple for the benefits.

The leaked benefits include Apple pre-paying tuition for outside education instead of using a reimbursement program, a free membership to Coursera, and certain employees getting new health care plans based on location. Apple Stores in New York, Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey are expected to get the new health care plans.

Other Apple stores have mixed results

Various Apple stores worlwide have also been working to unionize, while others have not. In September, Apple agreed to negotiate with Australian Unions after they asked the country's Fair Work Commission to intervene.

Apple's proposal to Australia's Fair Work Commission includes a minimum rate of pay 17% above the award rate outside of weekend penalty rates. Staff would get higher pay after 8:00 PM local time. Previously, higher pay rates had started for work after 10:00 PM.

Meanwhile, Apple's retail store in the St. Louis Galleria Mall has dropped its bid to unionize, blaming the company's hostility towards such efforts. The IAM also sought to represent employees at that location but withdrew its petition.

And in May, a store in Atlanta abandoned its petition, accusing Apple of illegal union-busting tactics. The Communications Workers of America had planned to represent employees there.