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Apple’s Towson Town Center store in Maryland, the first Apple Store to unionize, is re-entering negotiations with workers seeking the ability to accept customer tips. Bloomberg reported that negotiations between the store and Apple took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
While there are typical pay increases, vacation time, and other benefits on the table, the main proposal centers on allowing customers to tip. The proposal calls for up to a 10% raise for some employees and a $1-per-hour bonus for those who become certified in first aid. The union also seeks double overtime pay after eight hours or a 40-hour workweek and higher pay for working weekends and more holidays.
One crucial change is the ability for customers to tip at checkout, with the union proposing three options: 3%, 5%, or a custom amount. According to the union, this change will allow customers to express their gratitude for a job well done without any obligation. The money collected will be distributed to members of the bargaining unit biweekly based on the hours they worked.
The Towson Apple Store’s unionization is a groundbreaking move in the tech industry, with only a few other stores following suit. Apple has been actively engaging in union-busting efforts, making the progress at Towson all the more impressive.
“We realize that this is a negotiation, and these are initial proposals,” the union said in a statement. “Our goal is and always has been to bring back an acceptable contract for the membership to ratify.”
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It remains to be seen how Apple will respond to the union’s proposals, but it is evident that employees are taking a stand and demanding better working conditions and benefits, including the ability to receive tips from customers. If successful, this could set a precedent for other Apple Stores and tech companies to follow suit, bringing about a much-needed shift in the industry.