This week, an unprecedented propaganda campaign—spearheaded by Maine Governor Paul LePage and the NRA—successfully undermined One Fair Wage in Maine. It is a disappointing setback, but it will not discourage us. We will continue to call on Maine’s legislators to do away with the unjust tipped minimum wage system once and for all.
ROC United launched the One Fair Wage campaign because we believe America’s 12 million restaurant workers deserve to live and work with dignity. The subminimum wage—as little as $2.13 per hour at the federal level—forces workers to rely on tips to support themselves and their families. As a result, they face disproportionate rates of poverty, discrimination, and sexual harassment. One Fair Wage will give them the financial stability they need to protect and provide for themselves and their families.
Last year, the people of Maine told the world they were fed up with this unfair system. On election day, they voted to eliminate the tipped minimum wage and establish One Fair Wage for all workers. Maine became America’s eighth One Fair Wage state. The people had spoken.
Yet, to the dismay of workers and their allies across Maine, LePage and the NRA worked feverishly to undermine the will of the people. The decision to reinstate the subminimum wage system will hurt families across Maine. We cannot and will not let this stand.
No one said the fight for One Fair Wage would be an easy one. As Dr. King once said, “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” From Minnesota and Pennsylvania to New York State and Illinois; our movement is gaining ground every day. Now more than ever it is critical we have your support, in order to continue our work in Maine and in communities nationwide.