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For Immediate Release

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Press Release

Patriotic Millionaires Join Workers, Employers, Elected Officials To Warn Consumers: Low Wages Will Impact Holiday Dining

Restaurant owners, workers, consumers, and donors will join Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-2) for a lunch press briefing regarding the mass worker exodus from the New York restaurant industry and its impact on holiday dining.
WASHINGTON -

Tomorrow, December 21 at 12:00PM ET, members of the Patriotic Millionaires will join One Fair Wage, RAISE High Road Restaurants, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney for a special Consumer Warning Release event.

The event will highlight the release of a new report on the mass worker exodus from the New York and national restaurant industries due to the inadequate subminimum tipped wage, and how this will adversely impact consumer dining during the holidays.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: https://onefairwage.site/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/OFW_Closed.pdf

The featured speaker, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-2), will join restaurant owners, workers, consumers, and donors to speak about the impending crisis and also celebrate the work of those working to end the subminimum wage for tipped restaurant workers.

Who:

Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires

Dennis and Karen Mehiel, restaurant owners and members of the Patriotic Millionaires

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-2)

“High road” employers

Restaurant workers

What: A holiday lunch and press briefing for the release of a new report on the mass worker exodus from the New York restaurant industry and how this will adversely impact consumer dining during the holidays

When: Tuesday, December 21st at 12:00PM ET – RSVP HERE

About the report:

The restaurant industry constitutes one of the largest segments of the ‘Great Resignation.’ A record 11.5 million workers across all sectors quit their jobs in April, May, and June of 2021, and nearly one million of these workers were in the restaurant industry. More than one in 10 of those departures from the restaurant industry have been in New York state.

One Fair Wage’s new report, titled, “Closed Due to Low Wages: The Ongoing Exodus of Workers From the NY Restaurant Industry & The Looming Impact on Consumers” highlights how the situation expected to worsen heading into the holidays and in 2022:

  • Since December 2019, nearly 1 million workers have left the restaurant industry nationwide, and more than 1 in 10—nearly 12%—of all restaurant workers who left the industry were in New York State.
  • New York in particular has witnessed the largest decline (18%) in the overall restaurant workforce of any US State or territory; more than 120,000 workers have left the industry in New York. With a pre-pandemic workforce of about 675,000 employees, there remain a little over 550,000 workers in the restaurant industry statewide.
  • Among those restaurant workers who remain, more than half report that they are leaving. In May 2021, 53% of all restaurant workers who remain in the industry nationwide and exactly half (50%) of all New York restaurant workers who remain in the industry reported that they were leaving. Nine in ten workers (90%) cited that they were leaving due to low wages and tips. Nearly eight in ten workers (78%) stated that a ‘full, stable, livable wage with tips on top’ would be the main factor to make them stay in the industry, higher than all other potential incentives by 30 percentage points.
  • In response, over 400 restaurants are now paying OFW in all regions of New York State. However, these restaurants are saying that their individual restaurants’ wage increases are not enough. Many of these employers are calling for statewide policy to enact One Fair Wage - a full minimum wage for tipped workers with tips on top - in order to create a level playing field and to signal to thousands of workers who have left or are leaving that wages will increase permanently and it is worth coming back to work in restaurants.
  • Without a policy to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers, the exodus threatens to continue and worsen this holiday season and in 2022. More than 17,000 workers have signed a petition to Governor Hochul stating that they will not work without One Fair Wage—a full minimum wage with tips on top—and hundreds are saying they will not work for subminimum wages this holiday season. This will significantly reduce consumers’ ability to dine out during the holiday season and in 2022.

For additional information or interview requests, please contact Sam Quigley at sam@patrioticmillionaires.org

###

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country’s political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three “first” principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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