Workers at Apple’s unionized store in Towson Maryland, are asking for higher pay and additional time off, along with changes that could affect the company’s tightly controlled retail experience, such as letting customers tip employees. reports Bloomberg.

I understand the request for more pay and more time off, but I definitely don’t want to be expected to tip employees at Apple retail stores. We’re already suffering from “tipflation” in the U.S.

As noted by CBS News, tipping is encountering its own form of inflation, with consumers commonly facing digital kiosks that ask for tips that start at 18% or 20% and can go as high as 30% — a far cry from the 15% that used to be traditional. Fifteen percent? Heck, I remember when it was 10% — and that was only a few years ago.

And more types of employees are now asking for tips than in prior years, according to Cornell University professor Michael Lynn, who studies consumer behavior, tells CBS News. Tips were traditionally given to workers who earned the so-called “tipped minimum wage” — federally set at $2.13 an hour — and thus rely on tips to earn the balance of their income. Most commonly, these tipped workers are waitstaff at restaurants and bartenders.

However, tipping has been spreading to occupations that earn the regular minimum wage or above, such as baristas and drivers, Lynn noted. That raises the question of whether consumers should feel obligated to add a tip of 20% or more to their check when a digital kiosk is swiveled around for payment.

“It’s mostly restaurant waiters and waitresses that are paid less than the minimum wage, so for them, tips are critical,” Lynn noted. Baristas and other types of workers are often getting at least the minimum wage, he said. Lynn added, “I feel obligated to tip waiters, but anybody else I don’t feel obligated, but often I do tip if they’ve gone above and beyond.”

Apple’s prices are not exactly inexpensive as it is. I certainly don’t want spend a moolah of cash at an Apple retail store, then feel guilty if if I don’t tip.

Besides tipping in the US has long been more generous than in other regions. For example, when dining at a restaurant in Europe you should expect to tip a bit more modestly than you would in America. If a service charge is included in your bill then leaving a tip is optional. If it isn’t you can leave a 5-10% tip without insulting your waiter or waitress.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today