Apple Inc. is withholding its latest employee benefits from workers at one of its unionized retail stores.
The technology giant is set to provide employees with more funds to pursue coursework and, in some states, employees will be able to access new health benefits, according to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Apple was quick to inform employees at a unionized retail location in Towson, Md., that they wouldn’t get the new perks, said the report, which noted the reason provided was that the store needs to negotiate benefits with Apple via the collective bargaining arrangement that comes with a union.
A labour expert cited in the report said Apple’s behaviour could be deemed by the National Labor Relations Board to violate federal law, which forbids anti-union threats or discrimination. “It’s hard to see how they could come up with a legitimate reason for the timing other than to influence the outcome of the election,” said Wilma Liebman, former union attorney and NLRB chair.
On Oct. 14, workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma City voted to unionize, making it the second unionized Apple store in the U.S. in a matter of months.