Time and again, opponents of the One Fair Wage Movement allege local restaurant industries will suffer if workers are paid a living wage. The “sky is falling” argument is a particular favorite of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which has for decades worked feverishly to keep restaurant industry wages low and workplace conditions poor.
The misinformation they disseminate is paper thin, and we have the research to prove it. The latest report comes out of Seattle. A study by the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that the city’s adoption of One Fair Wage has boosted wages without costing jobs.
“It focused on food service jobs, which some critics said could be disproportionately affected if increased wages forced restaurants to cut workers’ hours. Author Michael Reich said that hasn’t been the case.
“The results should give more confidence to other jurisdictions around the country that have adopted $15-an-hour laws, he said.
“‘We were surprised,’ Reich said Tuesday. ‘The results were so much clearer than is often the case.'”
We can’t say we are surprised by these findings. For years now workers and their allies have called for One Fair Wage. Seattle is not an outlier. Cities and states that have eliminated the subminimum wage system have watched their restaurant industries soar. Jobs aren’t going away, and neither are tips. One Fair Wage will only strengthen our industry.
Do you agree that it’s time to eliminate the tipped minimum wage once and for all? Click here to learn how you can support the movement for One Fair Wage.