The campaign to eliminate the tip credit and require food service workers to be paid the full minimum wage picked up the support of New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Speaking at a One Fair Wage (OFW) event in support of eliminating the tip credit, DiNapoli threw his weight behind legislation pending in Albany as an alternative to action by the Governor. Separately, One Fair Wage and a group of progressive organizations delivered what they claimed were 17,000 petition signatures from “service workers” in support of eliminating the tip credit to Governor Hochul’s office. The choice of words suggests that not all of the signors are “food service workers” as perhaps the typical person might infer. In addition to these more high profile actions, OFW is also meeting with many legislators or their staffs to make the case for eliminating the tip credit.
We’ve taken notice of their activity and have begun a counter-offensive. Working with our partners at the New York State Restaurant Association and the New York City Hospitality Alliance we’re speaking out loudly and clearly that this industry is in desperate shape. Labor shortages, supply chain issues, rising expenses, and the ever-evolving public health situation are an impossible burden for many to bear. And we’ve started to push back on the false narrative that the tip credit impacts food service workers’ wages negatively.
One important step was the recent publication of an op-ed in the New York Daily News by Maggie Rycynski, a bartender in upstate New York and the organizer of the Supporters of the Tip Credit Facebook group. This group’s membership peaked at over 20,000 in 2018 when Governor Cuomo was considering eliminating the tip credit. And it was instrumental in organizing hundreds of food service workers across New York State to testify at the Department of Labor’s tip credit hearings. Hopefully Maggie’s op-ed is the start of a similar movement in 2022.
So, it looks like we’re in for a fight. But we’re ready and we have the facts on our side – if they matter. We need you to be ready too. Watch for our updates and calls to action as the battle continues. This is too important a fight to sit out!