Despite Apple’s objections, the Baltimore Apple Store became the first in the country to unionize last year, and now we’re getting a glimpse of negotiations for the next contract. Among the proposals of union representatives: higher wages and tips for “a job well done”.
According to a Bloomberg report, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers began negotiations with Apple this week by submitting its first set of proposals to management. Among the union’s requests are fairly standard proposals: a 10 percent pay rise, changes to the company’s vacation policy, bereavement leave, and overtime.
But the most controversial addition is a new tipping system, which would encourage customers to leave 3 percent, 5 percent, or a custom amount of tips for in-store transactions. According to the union, tips “will allow grateful customers to express gratitude for a job well done without obligation.” The union says tips would be pooled and “distributed bi-weekly to bargaining unit members based on hours worked.”
Tipping is common when delivering and serving food, but is generally not collected in stores, where employees are traditionally paid higher wages. Apple Store employees reportedly earn a minimum of $22 an hour after a 2022 pay raise. The union is also seeking double pay for employees who work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, and up to 34 weeks of severance pay after layoffs.
The union appears to be aware that the tipping policy is a non-starter and said in a statement that the proposal represents only the first stage of negotiations, with the goal being “an acceptable contract for the membership to ratify”.