New Report: Over 43% of all Restaurant Workers Live Below Twice the Poverty Line, Poor Labor Standards Pervade Industry
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Highlights Influence of National Restaurant Association and Prevalence of Sexual Harassment Among Top Reasons to End Tip Penalty
New York, NY — One of the largest labor sectors in the US, the restaurant industry, has nearly half of its workers living under the income threshold required for a family to make ends meet, among many terrible working conditions according to a new report. The study just released by the Economic Policy Institute, Low Wages and Few Benefits Mean Many Restaurant Workers Can’t Make Ends Meet, underscores several areas of research on working conditions in which the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) has served as a leader since its founding in 2002. Unfortunately, many of the restaurant industry’s most devastating statistics have not improved over the years.
Find the report here: http://www.epi.org/
Highlights from the report’s key findings below:
-After accounting for demographic differences, restaurant workers have hourly wages that are 17.2 percent lower than those of similar workers outside the restaurant industry.
-More than two in five restaurant workers, or 43.1 percent, live below twice the poverty line—more than
-Women are much more likely than men to be cashiers/counter attendants, hosts, and wait staff and earn less than men in every restaurant occupation except for dining room attendants/bartender helpers, where they make roughly the same. The largest restaurant industry occupation is waiter/waitress, which makes up nearly a quarter (23.3 percent) of all restaurant jobs.
“It’s simply not acceptable for one of the most profitable industries out there to provide the absolute lowest paying jobs and keep workers in poverty,” said Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of ROC United. “It’s an enormous testament to the power of the restaurant industry and its lobby group, the National Restaurant Association, that the tipped minimum wage has been frozen at the appallingly low rate of $2.13 an hour since 1991, and they get away with passing the responsibility of paying their employees directly onto the customer. We’ve known for a long time that the restaurant industry needs to get its act together, but if we’re going to make progress, we have to bring the undue influence of the National Restaurant Association to light.”
“There are great restaurant owners out there, many of them are our employer partners and members of
Find more information on the National Restaurant Association here: https://rocunited.org/the-
Find more information on sexual harassment and gender disparity in the restaurant industry here: https://rocunited.org/tipped-
Co-founded by labor-rights leader Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News) ROC United has grown to over 13,000 members across 26 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $8 million in stolen tips and wages.