Apple to withhold its latest employee benefits and perks from its sole unionized retail store
Apple is withholding its latest employee benefits and perks from staff working at its only syndicated retail store in the Baltimore, Maryland suburb of Towson.
Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:
The company told retail and corporate staff this week that it will increase benefits for outside education classes and healthcare, according to people familiar with the matter. Workers will receive more funds to take courses, and employees in some states will be able to access new health plan benefits …
But the company was quick to inform employees at its unionized retail location – a store in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland – that they wouldn’t get the new benefits.
The reason given was that the Towson store must negotiate benefits with Apple through the collective bargaining agreement provided with a union …
Apple has expanded other employee benefits over the past year. The company previously increased vacation and sick days and has long offered discounts on health care and products.
MacDailyNews takes: Good.
For every action there is a reaction. The clear consequences tend to focus the mind.
Once again, Apple’s retail workers are already, and have long been, among the highest paid retail workers in the world. If they are ultimately bound by a union contract and smart employees should hope that it never happens, it will become harder to work in an Apple store, not easier.
If common sense doesn’t work, Apple should consider more drastic measures.
An employer is free to simply close his business at any time, even in the face of organizing efforts. Apple could then develop and open new retail stores in the same cities with new staff.
The company has closed all stores in an entire country (Russia) and has nevertheless published all-time quarterly results; could easily absorb this handful of store closings with subsequent relocations / relocations to bring home the point that:
In a free market, jobs are valued by supply and demand.
The skill set for a retail employee is different than, for example, for a software engineer. Potential retail employees are an order of magnitude more abundant than software engineers, and the salaries paid and benefits granted for each job reflect this discrepancy.
You won’t get rich by working in the retail business. There are simply too many other people who can do your job.
Nobody likes to hear that their work is a dime a dozen. Regardless, retail jobs are a dime dozen.
If retail workers join the union, they can, and do, impose abnormal wages and benefits that do not reflect the reality of supply and demand for such positions.
What happens next (aside from behind-the-scenes deception and corruption between union leaders and politicians)?
The company is forced to overpay the unionized staff to perform tasks that, in a free and open market, should cost the company much less. Therefore, in order to maintain margins and profitability (in order to satisfy the company’s shareholders and the market), the company is forced to cut in other areas or raise the prices of goods and services. The company cannot “absorb the cost” in the long term.
Let’s talk about inflation.
That said, yes, executive pay is out of control. Tim Cook is heavily overpaid for what he does. This is because he has a rare set of skills and it benefits shareholders to have continuity in the CEO position. Basically, Apple overpays Tim Cook to have a long-term CEO who trusts the market. A succession of different CEOs jumping from company to company every two years in search of higher salaries would be a downside and justify overpaying Cook. Cook is paid for to remain more than for what in reality does. This is why it has maturity targets set for years into the future. If it stays, providing continuity, it benefits and so does the company’s share price (over time).
Not so for retail employees. If one leaves, there is an endless line of others to replace them. Sure, there are excellent retail employees, and if Apple’s retail arm is functioning properly, they are identified and rewarded for keeping them, as their continued employment benefits the company, the company’s customers, and the company’s shareholders. ‘agency. But the cost of their labor must make financial sense, no matter how good an employee is – if keeping them costs more than the company is worth, they should look for work elsewhere, not force overpay / keep working.
If Apple doesn’t work properly, unionization is an employee’s last resort. Just know that those costs will eventually be passed on to the customer. Someone has to pay. There is no free lunch. If those unionization costs are too high (which they tend to become over time), it will hurt the company (consumers will look for similar goods and services offered at significantly lower prices) and retail workers will eventually suffer the negative effects (see : Detroit auto unions and auto industry, what’s left of it).
In the past, unions have corrected many mistakes: unsafe working conditions, forced overtime without pay, child labor, etc. None of these situations are facing Apple Retail employees today. Some retail employees simply want pay higher than the actual value of their work in a free market, so they want to join forces to force it.
In many union settings, workers face limited advancement based on their merits. The possibilities of advancement of union workers are limited as foreseen by the union contracts. So if you are an exemplary Apple employee today, your prospects are probably brighter than if you were part of a union, subject to certain union rules governing advancement, etc.
Retail employees should carefully consider the pitfalls of unionization and the consequences of unintended consequences. – MacDailyNews, May 25, 2022
• Apple to improve scheduling flexibility for retail employees – June 2, 2022
• Apple raises starting pay for retail workers in the United States to $ 22 per hour – May 26, 2022
• Apple’s chief of retail O’Brien dismisses unions in new video for retail staff – May 25, 2022
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