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View Diary: What restaurants should you eat in if you care about workers? (100 comments)

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  •  Just a point, servers in mid and upper priced (0+ / 0-)

    restaurants are likely to make well over the state minimum wage.  I did the books for an a such a place.  The servers all averaged over $20 dollars per hour in tips with a base wage of 4.34 an hour.  That's nearly 25 dollars per hour.
    They did not get any benefits other than free meals, but, I don't think it would be fair to the owners to raise the minimum wage in this type of circumstance.

    The cretins who abuse their workers and pay less than minimum wage should be charged and run out of business.

    What could help is to make it easier for restaurants to form large insurance pools to purchase health insurance.  Also, rather than spending your money on corporate chains, support your local ethical independent restaurant.

    I play for keeps. Kindness, Equality, Enlightenment, Peace, and Sustainability.

    by QDMacaw on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 08:01:49 PM PDT

    •  How would it be "unfair" to the owners? (0+ / 0-)

      People give gifts to their employees - that does not take a dime from their bottom line.

      All establishments would be treated equally - there would be no unfair competitive advantage that would send customers somewhere else.

      Do you feel that the Ownership Caste is just somehow naturally entitled to a certain share of the wealth working people create?

      What's so horribly unfair in CA, WA, and OR, where tipped servers aren't subjected to wage abuse by owners?  

      Do  we have fewer restaurants per capita in those states?

      I see no evidence angry "Job Creators" have fled from that imposition on their natural entitlement.

      Just because workers in a high end establishment took home something approaching a living wage doesn't mean their boss is entitled to cut-rate labor.  

      “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:02:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The logic is (0+ / 0-)

        that employees who work these positions in expensive restaurants end up being adequately compensated, therefore their employers should not be expected to raise their base pay to minimum. And if it is not fair to the owners to raise their pay, then no owners should have to raise any tipped employees' pay to minimum. It's the unspoken third part that is presupposed.

        •  I work in a Sushi Restaurant (0+ / 0-)

          As both a server and a manager....we may average over $20 per hour, but we also take a chance every day that we won't make but $7 an hour.

          If I am sick I can't take a day off, because I won't get paid, and I am not eligible for health care because I can't get 37 hours a week as our shifts are only 4 to 5 hours and we aren't allowed to get enough shifts.

          I am not complaining as I understand at a small business it is hard to make it.  At least the kitchen guys all have insurance as they only make $10/hour plus the money we have to tip out.

        •  The "unspoken third part" that the Boss class is (0+ / 0-)

          entitled to free labor whenever and wherever they can extract it?

          “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:36:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There you go. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            If even one worker of that type is getting adequate pay, none deserve a fair minimum wage. Because that one worker might be getting more than he deserves, and it is worth putting tens of millions into poverty to prevent one worker making more than he deserves.

      •  Most restaurants are independently owned and not (0+ / 0-)

        raking in the big bucks.

        93%: Percentage of eating-and-drinking place businesses that have fewer than 50 employees.

        7 out of 10 eating-and-drinking place establishments are single-unit operations

        80% of restaurant owners said their first job in the restaurant industry as an entry-level position.

        Average food service profit is 4.5%
        http://www.restaurant.org/...

        To answer your question, it would be unfair to the owners in this circumstance because they were struggling financially with loans from from family and friends, high rent, and overhead. (They could not get a loan from any bank, other than high interest credit lines.)  The chef owners were living their dream of having their own place, working day and night 7 days a week.  The servers were already making triple the state minimum wage of $7.36.  Also the restaurant pays 7.51% of employer FICA tax on all wages and tip income.  The owners are not big capital in this case and neither are most restauranteurs.

        The term small business in this country is a misnomer.  The IRS defines it as less than 4000 workers.  Do you know the Koch Bros are considered small businessmen?  The majority of truly small, independent businesses have less than 100 employees and generate significant wages and income for their local economies.  These businesses do not have political clout.  The government should support them rather than the corporate 1 percent with their troves of influence.  Just my perspective.  Thanks for replying.  I suspect we would agree more than disagree on most points.

        I play for keeps. Kindness, Equality, Enlightenment, Peace, and Sustainability.

        by QDMacaw on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:49:23 AM PDT

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        •  Every employer makes their bucks off someone (0+ / 0-)

          elses backs.

          That fellow workers decide to give gifts to servers has nothing to do with a Bosses obligation to compensate the labor that generates their actual wealth.

          "A lot of restaurant  owners are bad at running restaurants" is not an excuse for supporting the exploitation of workers.  If we buy that argument, then we might as well let everyone from carpet cleaners to dog groomers to stiff their employees and refuse to pay them a fair wage.

          The restaurant industry is doing just fine in states that do not allowing this form of theft and abuse, btw.

          You and I do not agree that petty crooks have some of god-given right to steal where large crooks do not.

          You are as much my enemy as the Koch brothers.  Obviously, you cannot win without actual workers on your side, so like the Koch brothers you try to deceive and mislead and convince those you wish to harm that you share some sort of common cause with them.

          “The administration should be worried about the level of despair here.” ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:43:18 PM PDT

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          •  I stand corrected. (0+ / 0-)

            Your approach is obviously the way to go and affect positive change for workers and Mom and Pop small businesses.  

            I play for keeps. Kindness, Equality, Enlightenment, Peace, and Sustainability.

            by QDMacaw on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 01:17:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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