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Five Reasons to Swich To Better: Workers

Courtesy of Think Progress is an article stating four reasons why it’s important to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers – currently it stands at $2.13 and hour(!). Of course, we think that these same very issues are reasons to “swich” to better restaurants that pay their workers fairly. To summarize them…

1. Low Wages Lead to Poverty
Duh…”Given the low wages, restaurant servers experience poverty at nearly three times the rate of the rest of the workforce.”

 

2.Women and Minorities are Disproportionately Affected
“Women held nearly two-thirds of tipped jobs as of 2012, including making up 70 percent of restaurant servers. People of color similarly make up large majorities of these jobs, representing 40 percent of all tipped workers

 

3. Wage Theft Is a Real Problem
It’s terribly difficult to enforce the law that tips be paid to the workers that earned them. In fact,  “more than 13 percent [of workers] say their employers misappropriated their tips”

 

4. McJobs Growth Is Our Present Future
The restaurant industry is becoming a larger portion of our economy, employing 1 in 10 Americans and growing fast. Replacing higher paying jobs for jobs that pay poverty wages doesn’t seem like the recipe for long term success.

 

And we’d add…

5. We End Up Paying Worker’s Wages When The Restaurant Industry Doesn’t Anyways!
The restaurant industry will argue that raising the minimum wage will result in increased prices. But that’s not really true.  We already pay these higher prices in a hidden, inefficient way via tips. But, even more importantly, we already pay for it with our taxes that fund social safety net programs – like food stamps – that workers on poverty wages need to survive. So in reality it’s a form of corporate welfare if we continue to support and allow employers to avoid paying their workers a fair wage. And that taxpayer bill that comes due each year is measured in billions! It’s a novel idea, but why doesn’t the restaurant industry pay it’s own workers instead of relying on taxpayers to fill the gap…?

 

And we could add the economic and social benefits of higher wages for lower income people (i.e., less income inequality), but let’s stop here…

 

We have the $$$ power to help change this.

Make the Swich!

 

Photo Credit: NBC News

 

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