Restaurant servers look to fight minimum wage increase

Local News

On Monday morning, state representatives and tipped workers will meet face-to-face to talk about the proposed minimum wage increase for tipped workers. 

It’s not every day that you see a group of employees fighting against a raise, but that is exactly what thousands of restaurant servers across the state are doing. 

Ahead of the Monday morning meeting, a group got together at Joey’s Italian Restaurant in East Syracuse. There, they made signs and went over the comments they plan to share with the Department of Labor.

There is a proposal on the table, in New York State, to increase tipped workers minimum wage to match that of someone who doesn’t make tips.

Some of them, though, are worried about losing their jobs altogether. 

Aletea DeCuffa-Morales of Joey’s Italian Restaurant explained, “Prices will have to raise dramatically, hours will have to be cut yet again. It’s piling on top of what’s just happened. It’s like getting blood from a stone, there’s just no more money left.”

Albany area Outback Steakhouse bartender Maggie Raczynski added, “They think- oh yea they should get an increase in pay. But the increase in pay is going to be passed on to the public dining out and it’s going to turn dining out in to an elitist affair. Prices are going to rise to a point where you can’t pay them and where restaurants can’t collect them so they have to stop doing business.”

The proposal, being pushed by Governor Cuomo, suggests that servers feel pressure to tolerate harassment and poor behavior because they are working for tips.

Both sides have a chance to share their thoughts Monday morning at 10 a.m. at SUNY ESF. You must register for the meeting. To do that, or submit testimony if you can’t make it. Please email here.

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