Shocking as it may sound, some grocery baggers in New York City work entirely for tips. [...] Tips-only bagging is illegal in New York and the state attorney general's office has been fighting the practice for years. The NYT article mentions several cases in which workers have won hourly wages by complaining to the state AG's office. Now union organizers are moving in to help the baggers fight for even more gains.In Europe the idea of a person whose job is to put shoper's grocery into bags for them is unheard of. Not only are shoppers expected to do it themselves, here on the Riviera our supermarkets have recently stopped providing free bags at all. Actually in terms of efficiency I think the new "bags if you pay for them" service works better because rather than have weak plastic bags regular shoppers have invested in more permenant solutions such as those on the right which are in fact easier to fill, quicker to load into and unload from the car, and can be used for years before needing replacement. Whether or not it is actually more environmentally friendly is another matter as many people use tough plastic bags or even solid plastic cartons rather than these natural fiber bags, but it certainly saves the supermarket some money. Even if the old plastic bags only cost a few tenths of a cent each the total cost of all the thousands that were filled at each shop each day by shoppers must have been significant. That is undoubtedly nice for the supermarket shareholders but it causes the manufacturers and distributors of plastic bags to lose revenue and therefore, one assumes, to reduce the amount of wages they pay if they don't in fact go out of business.