AOC returning to her bartending roots to advocate for raising minimum wage for restaurant employees and other tipped workers

AOC will be waiting tables once again.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is returning to her restaurant roots this week to show support for the federal Raise the Wage Act and abolishing below-minimum wage for tipped workers in the Empire State.
The Bronx-born freshman congresswoman plans to pour a few pints and take a few orders at a restaurant in her district on Friday at an event organized by Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, the Daily News has learned. The exact location will be revealed later in the week.

“We’re very grateful for our partnership with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who fully understands the struggles of these workers,” ROC co-founder and president Saru Jayaraman told The News. “As a former tipped worker, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can shed light on the importance of One Fair Wage to lift up these workers and their families."

New York is one of 43 states that allow waiters, bartenders, nail salon workers, car wash employees and other select laborers to be paid a lower minimum wage as long as they earn at least the full minimum wage after tips.
ROC and others have been petitioning Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers to mandate One Fair Wage, which would institute a full minimum wage for workers who earn tips. Advocates argue the change would combat wage theft, even the economic playing field for a group that is predominantly made up of women and people of color, and make waitresses less vulnerable to sexual harassment.
Given her résumè, Ocasio-Cortez’s advocacy on behalf of the group makes more sense than splitting a $20 bar tab four ways.
Prior to unseating 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley, the Democrat worked at Flats Fix, a Mexican bar-restaurant near Union Square. During her campaign, Ocasio-Cortez frequently spoke about her time in the service industry and the struggles tipped workers often face.
In the city, the standard minimum wage is now $15 an hour, and the tipped wage is $10. That’s substantially more than the federal tipped wage, which has been $2.13 an hour for nearly 30 years. The standard hourly federal minimum wage is $7.25.
The federal Raise the Wage Act would double the federal minimum wage by 2024.
“Restaurant workers in New York and across the country have been mobilizing over the last two years to demand that One Fair Wage will be passed in New York and the Raise the Wage Act in Congress,” Jayaraman said. “It’s time for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to listen to the voice of the majority of restaurant, nail salon and car wash workers."
Last year, Cuomo asked the Labor Department to study the effect of raising the wage for tipped workers. A representative for the governor noted that New York has raised the minimum wage across the board under Cuomo, including for tipped workers, and that department is still reviewing the issue.
“The Department is the only regulatory agency legally permitted to review this issue and they are currently in the review process,” Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard said.

Opponents believe the change will have a disastrous impact on restaurants, forcing owners to jack up food prices and cut staff.
Ocasio-Cortez, ROC and others say the struggle goes well beyond those waiting tables for a living. The congresswoman’s district, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens, has one of the highest concentrations of nail salons in the country, which are predominantly staffed by immigrant women, according to ROC.
“When we think of tipped workers, we usually think of some restaurant workers,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last summer to her four million followers. “But tipped workers are far more than that: they are nail salons, car wash techs, and more.
“These are all some of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, built on labor with precarious pay, damaging work conditions, and notoriously endures abuse and sexual harassment as a result,” she added.
AOC returning to her bartending roots to advocate for raising minimum wage for restaurant employees and other tipped workers AOC returning to her bartending roots to advocate for raising minimum wage for restaurant employees and other tipped workers Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:22 Rating: 5

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