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Living off tips

Living off tips

ROC United (Restaurant Opportunities Centers), launched in 2009, is campaigning to Raise the Tipped Minimum Wage, using the hashtag #livingofftips and featuring this video including Gloria Steinem:

From ROC’s website:

With more than 10 million workers, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy; it is also the lowest-paying. Six of the ten lowest-paying jobs in the United States are restaurant jobs, and seventy percent of tipped restaurant workers are women. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the minimum for workers who receive tips is just $2.13. Tips are supposed to make up the difference, but in reality they don’t. When your only hourly guaranteed wage is $2.13, you live off tips. Many of the women who put food on our tables cannot afford to feed their families. Servers use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the U.S. workforce, and are three times as likely to live in poverty.


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John B. Chilton

Another place to think about tipping is at our church conference centers. Like a hotel, they employ many wait staff, cooks, housekeepers and maintenance workers. Or ask yourself whether you’d prefer your diocese underwrite conference centers so they could cover costs, pay higher wages and be affordable to a cross section of our members.

Sara Miles

It’s also important to remember all the other jobs in which people are supposedly paid by tips, yet where tipping is even less the norm than in restaurants (for example, carwash employees, and the drivers of those little electric carts that take you to your gate at airports.) Fight for raising the minimum wage—and tip generously!

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