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Lawmakers are volunteering as servers in support of increasing the wages in service industry

The lawmakers switch their job obligations for a change and support the minimum wage workers by stepping into their shoes for an hour.

Lawmakers are volunteering as servers in support of increasing the wages in service industry
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Linda K. Foley

The harsh economic decline is not making it easy for anyone working a minimum wage job to regularly put food on the table and run their households successfully. While many have voiced their opinions against the tipping culture in America, others are questioning the lack of raise in the salary of the servers who work on a meager wage and have to depend on the extra tips from customers. However, in Colorado, a bunch of lawmakers decided to step into the shoes of the restaurant servers and experience their lives to show support to the workers who have to depend on tips, per CBS News.



 

Taking a break from their regular jobs, the lawmakers donned aprons, picked up notepads and tried out their hand at working in the service industry. It was part of an organized event called "Server for an Hour," set up in partnership with One Fair Wage, which advocates ending sub-minimum wages for tipped workers. The lawmakers stood in solidarity with the restaurant workers of Colorado and the restaurant owners so they could prompt the municipalities to raise the wages of the tipped workers. This event also called people's attention to the current staffing crisis that the service industry is facing.

According to the outlet, the minimum wage in Colorado is $13.65 per hour and for the employees who have to depend on tips, the minimum wage they receive is $10.63 per hour. The current law in the state mentions that the tipped workers' wages should be kept at least $3 less than other workers. In the last month, the Denver state's minimum wage rose from $17.29 to $18.29 per hour. However, the tipped workers did not see any significant increment.



 

"Right now, they're not making a livable wage. In some communities, they're making less and what we want to make sure of is if the local municipality has the political will to do it, that they can eliminate the sub-minimum wage," a Democrat representative of Denver state, Javier Mabrey, revealed. "This isn't about eliminating tips. It's about elevating that baseline to the minimum wage." "Colorado gave municipalities the authority to increase the minimum wage for all workers except the tipped workers. So what we are trying to do is close that loop and say municipalities should also be able to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers as well," Mabrey told KDVR. "This is about local control, and it's also about empowering restaurant workers."

Organizations like the Colorado Restaurant Association and many others are against this initiative. "This is about the worst thing you can do to the industry and they would have learned that if they would have talked to us or if they talked to any restaurant owners or people that worked in restaurants," said Colin Larson, director of government affairs for the Colorado Restaurant Association. Larson is also a former state representative, per the outlet. The Colorado Restaurant Association has not seen the bill because they said lawmakers did not have discussions with them about it.



 

Adding to the debate of raising wages and abolishing the tipping culture, a while ago, one seafood restaurant in Florida posted a sign asking customers to tip their servers and tried to guilt-trip their customers into tipping more to compensate for the poor wages of the servers. The words on the poster declared that the employees make next to nothing when the patrons don't leave a tip for the meal they have just eaten. 

Image Source: Reddit | u/mialunalight
Image Source: Reddit | u/mialunalight

The poster read, "Please remember to tip your server. Servers make state minimum wage, which is only $5.65/hr, most of which is taken away in taxes! They rely on your tips to make a living! When you don't leave a tip, they will have served you for the duration of your meal for nothing. Take care of those who took care of you!" After a patron called out the restaurant, they defended themselves by claiming their employees were happy. In the end, the minimum wage paid by a majority of the food industry, including major franchises in America, is not sufficient to make ends meet for employees.

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