By Tam St. Claire
BCWAC, First Vice President
The minimum wage for tip workers is … drum roll … a whopping $2.13 per hour! It hasn’t been increased since the last century (1991). Have you watched how hard waitresses work? Minimum wage for regular workers is $7.25 per hour or $13,920 per year full time without vacation, sick days, or family leave. That is below the poverty line for a mom with two kids and it costs taxpayers $240 billion per year in subsidies for these workers. The average age of a minimum wage worker is 35 years, and 56% of minimum wage workers are women.
Most of the jobs lost during the recession were in mid-wage jobs. Since the end of the recession, job growth has mostly been in the low-wage categories. Over the last eight years, there has been an increase in the number of those in poverty and there has been a decline in income.
It is past time to raise the minimum wage for tip workers and all workers. More than 70% of Americans and close to 60% of Republicans support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Over 28-million workers will benefit from this change.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act is scheduled to come up for a vote in the Senate on March 10.
According to Senator Tom Harkin, prime sponsor of this bill, supporters are currently three votes short of a super majority to overcome a filibuster. It is time for all of us to make our voices heard. Senator Bob Casey is a co-sponsor but Senator Pat Toomey is not.
Contact Senator Toomey at: 202-224-4254 or send him an email.