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View Diary: Attack on Servers' Wages in Florida Sparks Backlash (93 comments)

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  •  Reality - Sub-min wage screws restaurant staff (26+ / 0-)

    I've was in the restaurant industry for about 15 years mostly at fine dining establishments out here in San Diego. In CA waiters get paid the same CA minimum wage as the busboys, the dishwashers, and everybody else who is paid minimum wage. The wages were extra and basically paid the taxes on the tips we received. Does that mean tip-earners should be paid at a lower sub-minimum wage like in Florida or Pennsylvania? Hell-no. And here's why.

    Two of my best friends who both worked in the restaurant industry as waiters moved their family to Pennsylvania to escape the high cost of living in CA. They both found good server jobs in PN but here is where their getting screwed. In PA  the waiters get the sub-min wage while everyone else, the busboys, the dishwashers, the hostess' get the normal min-wage. So what does the owners do? They staff more waiters than needed and have them do everything. They bus the tables, they wash the dishes, they man the host stand. So they are all making less because they wait on less tables and work longer hours for peanuts. The busboys and dishwashers are out of jobs and the owner is laughing all the way to the bank.  The owners are essentially using this "loophole" to pay for job duties that are not under their job description.  And since in PA they can fire you without warning or reason, they get stuck doing this job. I bet this happens in the majority of States that have sub-min-wages for tipped employees.

    Chew on them fuck'd up apples for a minute.

    The current min-wag is way too low and the sub-min should be done away with immediately.

    •  yeah-THIS (8+ / 0-)

      I didn't read down this far before I posted my own comment below.  They've been getting away with this for a long time.

    •  Yep, exactly. I worked at a restaurant that was (7+ / 0-)

      terrible for this.

      There were servers, sometimes a host, and a bartender in front of the house and cooks and dishwashers in back of the house.  We servers did basically everything in the front: serving, often seating, busing, cleaning, making desserts and special non-alcoholic drinks and more.  And we got $2.77 an hour.

      It was a chain place that was open all day, with absurd variation in business.  Crushing lunch rushes, followed by practical dead time until dinner.

      There were never enough servers when it was busy and sometimes the rushes never appeared and we walked home with very light pockets.  I think I seriously made less than $20 one evening for an 8 hour shift.  Not that I worked my ass off that day, but I still did a pretty decent amount of work, considering all the extra duties they made servers take on.  And it was still a day of my time that I practically donated to them.

      Not to mention that they would sometimes send people home if it was slow, but they'd extremely rarely call people in if it were really busy.

      So you're completely right.  On busy days there weren't enough staff, and all saddled with extra duties, so only the very most talented/experienced/lucky one or two were really able to capitalize and make a lot of money (the rest of us were so harried and overworked that we struggled to give great, fast service to every table, causing our tips to suffer).  On slow days we kept the place running and open for business for basically $3 an hour.

      Either way, the owners were laughing all the way to the bank.

      The politics of direct action is based, to a certain degree, on a faith that freedom is contagious. - David Graeber

      by An Affirming Flame on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 03:02:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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