Apple increases healthcare and education benefits, but not for unionized employees; Australia workers are planning a strike

Apple increases healthcare and education benefits, but not for unionized employees; Australia worker ...

A growing number of Apple Store workers across the world are pushing to unionize, and one store in Australia has already made the leap. Today, a group of Apple retail workers in Australia has voted to strike as they battle with Apple to agree to a deal and support their unionization.

According to a fresh analysis from Bloomberg today, Apple will keep its most recent employee benefits from a unionized retail facility in Maryland.

New benefits

Apple is launching a few new benefits for retail and corporate employees, but will also withdraw these additional benefits from employees at the unionized store in Townson, Maryland. As the report states, the new benefits include increased outside education opportunities and healthcare improvements:

The employees who work at the Townson in Maryland will not receive these benefits. According to Bloomberg, this decision suggests that these employees must negotiate benefits with Apple through the collaboration that includes a union.

This is not something unique to Apple, however. As the report points out, excluding unionized employees from other benefits has also been a topic for Starbucks offices that were voted to unionize.

Apple''s move might distort employees from attending other colleges, but it might also dissuade workers, according to Bloomberg. An Apple Store in Oklahoma City is scheduled to vote on whether to unionize this week.

A strike in Australia

According to the Brisbane Times, up to 150 Apple employees in Australia have agreed to strike next Tuesday. These employees are represented by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) and this would be the first nationally coordinated strike by retail workers in Australian history.

Josh Cullinan, the national secretary for the RAFFWU, said that its members, who comprise around 150 of the 4000 Australian employees, are striking to get a better deal.

Other measures include interdictions on storing phones, handling deliveries, repairs, and installing screen protectors.

Union members have criticized Apple''s offer to the Australian union, alleging that it would result in a real wage reduction for workers and that it would result in them being clad for 60 hours in a week without overtime.

Apple is dissenting about this concept, stating that no employee will be subjected to a 60-hour week and that overtime will be paid to any employee who works more than 76 hours in two weeks. It also states that part-time employees scheduled on short notice will also pay overtime pay.

If Apple passes this offer without the union''s approval, the members of the Australian union have agreed to strike again for the first 24 hours.