Servers and bartenders in the Washington, D.C. restaurant industry gathered in protest Thursday against New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for supporting the One Fair Wage campaign to pay tipped workers the full federal minimum wage.
Ocasio-Cortez went to a bar in Queens, New York, in early June to raise awareness for an initiative that was put forward by Restaurant Opportunity Center United (ROC), a government-funded group that claims, if the measure passed, tipped workers would all be paid the same amount, regardless of effort or seniority.
This sparked outrage from many in the restaurant industry, several of whom showed up to protest outside her office. The Daily Caller spoke to the industry workers about their frustration with Ocasio-Cortez’s comments.
The One Fair Wage campaign’s mission is to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, meaning non-tipped employees would be paid the same as a tipped employee. Many in the industry are against the proposal, saying businesses would have to raise prices or add a service charge in order to afford the minimum wage.
Supporters of the initiative say that only a very small portion of restaurant workers are in favor of the current tipped wage. ROC also says that those in favor of a tipping wage system are mostly white, non-immigrants who work for bigger restaurants in the city.
Currently, non-tipped employees in the state of New York will make $15 an hour by December 31, compared to tipped employees who make $7.50. (RELATED: DC Restaurant Industry Rips Ocasio-Cortez After Pushing For $15 Minimum Wage For All)
Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond when asked about her support for the One Fair Wage campaign or about the criticism of her bartending experience.