Imagine a scheme where workers are paid $2.13 / hour and forced to pay for lobbying that keeps their salaries below minimum wage.
"The National Restaurant Association (NRA) uses mandatory $15 food-safety classes to turn waiters and cooks into unwitting funders of its battle against minimum wage increases." - NY Times
Follow the money with this relationship map to see how the NRA scheme works:
- Workers are required to pay $15 or more take a bogus course from ServSafe
- Money collected by ServSafe goes to the NRA. Estimated to be $ 25 million
- NRA pushes more states to make the ServSafe training mandatory
- The NRA donates to Republicans to block minimum wage efforts and to let young children work
- Restaurants get away paying just $2.13/hour as a tipped minimum wage
One Fair Wage, an advocacy organization that seeks to change laws to protect service industry workers. Saru Jayaraman, its president said employers should increase wages so that tips are a bonus, instead of a subsidy. Only 41% of restaurant workers said their tips were enough to ensure they were earning the full minimum wage where they lived.
Share this relationship map with this link https://embed.kumu.io/a8fe8fb29a8f94eaf9bfb11062b024d9
Restaurant workers forced to pay for lobbying that keeps their wages low
- "The National Restaurant Association uses mandatory $15 food-safety classes to turn waiters and cooks into unwitting funders of its battle against minimum wage increases.
- For many cooks, waiters and bartenders, it is an annoying entrance fee to the food-service business: Before starting a new job, they pay around $15 to a company called ServSafe for an online class in food safety.
- In taking the class, the workers — largely unbeknown to them — are also helping to fund a nationwide lobbying campaign to keep their own wages from increasing.
- The company they are paying, ServSafe, doubles as a fund-raising arm of the National Restaurant Association — the largest lobbying group for the food-service industry, claiming to represent more than 500,000 restaurant businesses.
- The association has spent decades fighting increases to the minimum wage at the federal and state levels, as well as the subminimum wage paid to tipped workers like waiters.
- The federal minimum wage has risen just once since 1996, to $7.25 from $5.15, while the minimum hourly wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. Minimums are higher in many states, but still below what labor groups consider a living wage." - NY Times
How federal wage law works
- A worker who receives tips, including not just restaurant workers but nail salon technicians, hairdressers, car wash workers, and people in plenty of other fields that get tipped, can be paid as little as $2.13 an hour, although the law states that their tips must make up the difference between the full minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
- An employer is required to step in if tips don’t fill in the gap, but in practice many employers don’t. Between 2010 and 2012 the Department of Labor found 1,170 tip credit violations. - The New Republic
Republicans bring back child labor
"Florida lawmakers to consider weakening century-old child labor laws. Florida lawmakers next year will consider legislation to loosen work requirements for 16- and 17-year olds. The bill will ban local governments from passing stricter work limits on children." - Orlando Sentinel
Restaurant lobbying groups and CEOs contributed to many of the GOP governors - The Counter
One Fair Wage
- Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, an advocacy organization in Washington D.C. that seeks to change laws to protect service industry workers, said that employers should increase wages so that tips are a bonus, instead of a subsidy. She has been working with various state lawmakers on legislation that would increase pay for tipped workers earning less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
- “It is imperative that even though it's a short session, we pass this law to end the sub minimum wage for tipped workers. Individual restaurants raising wages doesn't provide a guarantee to workers,” she said. “We need policy that will set a level playing field.”
- There is a national push to improve the working conditions of tipped workers. Service industry organizations are calling on the public to support a Bill of Rights for restaurant workers. - WYPR
TakeAway: Every worker deserves a fair wage. Vote for Democrats to fix this National Restaurant Association scheme that exploits workers.
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