Unionized Apple Store Workers Want Tipping System and Higher Pay

Workers at the Apple Store in Towson, Maryland—the first unionized store for the iPhone maker—are calling for pay raises, increased time off, and the introduction of a tipping system for customers, reports Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers represents the employees in negotiations with Apple, which are taking place on Wednesday and Thursday.

The union’s proposal includes pay raises of up to 10% and significant changes to the store’s vacation policy, bereavement leave, and overtime. The union also requests higher pay for a larger number of holidays, expanded vacation pay and time off based on years of service, and an extension of paid bereavement leave to include pets and close friends.

Additionally, the union is advocating for a tipping system that allows customers to express gratitude by tipping employees in increments of 3%, 5%, or a custom amount for in-store credit card transactions. The tips would be distributed among the staff biweekly based on hours worked.

Other demands include doubling the pay for employees who work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week, additional overtime pay for weekend work, and a $1 per hour raise for employees who get certified in first-aid.

While some employees worry that these demands may hinder negotiations, the union states it has negotiated similar perks with other companies. Tentative agreements have already been reached with Apple on issues such as resolving paycheck errors and an updated health and safety committee.

In the U.S., an Apple Store in Oklahoma City has agreed to unionize but nothing on the negotiation front has started yet. The Maryland Apple Store voted in favour of unionizing back in June 2022.

There are no unionized Apple Stores in Canada, but you can get workers are keeping an eye on what’s being negotiated in the U.S.