For Immediate Release
Restaurants Opportunities Centers United Joins National Day of Action to Raise Full and Tipped Minimum Wages
Calls on National Restaurant Association, Darden Restaurants Inc. (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Capital Grille) To Stop Blocking Fair Wages for Nation’s 10 Million Restaurant Workers
NEW YORK - On July 24th, ROC United joins thousands, including advocates, workers, online activists, faith and business leaders, in a national day of action spanning 30 cities to call on elected officials and low-wage employers to raise wages for millions of America's lowest-paid workers. The Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, and DC will participate in on the ground actions to call on Darden Restaurants Inc. to take immediate action to support policies that increase the full and tipped minimum wages, like the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, boost the tipped minimum wage, and index both to rise with the cost of living.
The restaurant industry is the largest low-wage employer in the country, resulting in servers experiencing three-times the poverty rate, and using food stamps at double the rate, of the rest of the US workforce. The National Restaurant Association (the lobby for Fortune 500 restaurant brands) and Darden Restaurants Inc. (owner of The Capital Grille, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and many other restaurant chains) sets the industry standard by aggressively advocating against wage increases.
July 24th, 2013 marks the fourth year that has passed without an increase in the federal full minimum wage. Even as the cost of living has continued to rise, and the restaurant industry’s profits continue to soar, the federal minimum wage has remained stuck at $7.25 per hour and the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 per hour (where it’s been frozen for the past 22 years). Bringing fair and livable wages to the restaurant workforce is integral to lifting thousands of Americans out of poverty.