Apple has been facing disputes with its retail employees in the United States since some stores decided to unionize. This time, a unionized Apple Store in Maryland demanded something quite unusual. In addition to higher pay and additional time off, which is expected, employees want to be able to receive tips from customers.
Apple Retail employees want better pay and tips from customers
As reported by Bloomberg, Apple Retail employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are “conducting negotiations” with the company on Wednesday and Thursday. In their latest proposal, they asked for a 10% salary increase, as well as changes to vacation, bereavement and overtime policies.
For example, employee representatives want Apple to pay more for working hours on holidays, including the day after Thanksgiving. The union is also asking for an extension of paid holidays and an increase in holidays based on years of service. Additionally, it wants to extend mourning periods from 10 days per event to a maximum of 45 days per year.
But there is something different in their request. In addition to a pay rise, employees are asking Apple to adopt a tipping system. This way, customers could tip employees 3%, 5%, or a custom amount for in-store credit card transactions.
The report notes that seeking guidance from customers would have a significant impact on “the company’s tightly controlled retail experience.” The union argues that tipping is a way for customers to “express their gratitude for a job well done without any obligation”. Some employees mentioned in the report fear that this unusual request could make negotiations more difficult and distract from more critical changes.
Apple faces challenges with unionizing its stores
Unsurprisingly, Apple declined to comment on the news. Last year, Apple’s retail store in Towson, Maryland, became the company’s first store to unionize. On the other hand, Apple continues efforts to prevent stores from unionizingincluding nationwide meetings with retail workers to “discuss the risks of unionization.”
After having been accused of illegal union-busting tactics, Apple agreed to leave a third-party audit check whether the company complies with its human rights policies.
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