Would you tip when buying a LAPTOP? First unionized Apple store in Maryland wants to add gratuity option at the check-out after claiming customers ‘insist’ on giving them cash
- Apple workers want to offer a gratuity option of 3-5% at the checkout
- Employees at the Maryland store became the first in the US to unionize
- It comes after shoppers said they are asked to tip at self-checkout machines
Staff at Apple’s first unionized store in the US are in talks to implement a tipping system at the check-out.
Workers at the Maryland branch – which became unionized last year – plan to ask customers if they wish to add an optional gratuity worth 3 to 5 percent of their purchase or a custom amount.
A 5 percent tip on the latest MacBook Air – which retails at $1,199 – would work out as $59.95.
It comes after shoppers complained they are increasingly being asked to tip at self-checkout machines – despite having zero interaction with employees.
Currently Apple’s policies state that store workers who accept a tip from a customer will be automatically fired.
Employees at an Apple branch in Maryland are in talks to implement a tipping system at the check-out. The members are pictured last year after agreeing to unionize
A 5 percent tip on the latest MacBook Air – which retails at $1,199 – would work out as $59.95
But workers at the store in Towson, Maryland, say customers often ‘insist’ on leaving money for them after a purchase.
The cash then goes into a safe before being returned to the company – without the employer seeing any of it.
The Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE) – which represents the Apple employees – wrote on Twitter: ‘Though we do not see tips as a major way of generating income we wanted to create an acceptable system that allows the occasional customer the ability to reward our team for their hard work.
‘We understand there are a lot of concerns about the culture of tipping as a whole in the US, but there is currently no other mechanism that would work otherwise.’
It added that the tips would be split between workers.
But customers took to social media in their droves to slam the new plan.
One wrote on Twitter: ‘Tips for what? Assisting a customer for picking out the latest Apple device? Give me a break.’
It is one of several demands being made by CORE on behalf of the Maryland store which is also asking for wage rises of as much as 10 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Other demands include higher pay over a larger portion of holidays, such as the day after Thanksgiving.
The row comes amidst a nationwide backlash over ‘tipflation’ which has seen tipping culture spill out from bars and restaurants and into coffee shops and take-away stores
And it is seeking to expand vacation pay and time off based on years of service while extending paid bereavement leave from 10 days at a time to a maximum of 45 days a year.
The policy should include pets and close friends, the union said.
On top of that, the union is seeking double pay for staffers who work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.
Meanwhile it wants employees who are first aid certified to receive $1 more an hour as well as entitlement to 34 weeks severance pay if they are laid off.
The Maryland store hit headlines last year when it became the first Apple branch to unionize.
Since then workers at a Oklahoma City store have agreed to unionize – though negotiations with Apple have not begun.
Revealed: What New Yorkers really think about tipping
Similar efforts were initiated by workers in Atlanta and St Louis – though these were promptly cancelled.
Last year St Louis workers said in a letter they ‘no longer felt the union would provide anything complimentary to Apple’s culture and existing benefits.’
Apple has been engaged in a national effort to stop its retail workers from unionizing.
The row comes amidst a nationwide backlash over ‘tipflation’ which has seen tipping culture spill out from bars and restaurants and into coffee shops and take-away stores.
While shoppers can say no, have often complained they felt ‘guilt-tripped’ into agreeing to the surcharge.
Square, a technology firm which powers many iPad check-outs, said transactions with tips attached had increased by 17 percent over the last year at full-service restaurants.
At quick-service take-away outlets, they have increased by 16 percent since the final quarter of 2022.
Legally employers are obligated to give tips directly to their workers but businesses have faced lawsuits over the years for failing to do so.
Dailymail.com reached out to Apple for comment.
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