The State Labor Department’s hearings on eliminating the tip credit got off to a rousing start on Long Island this month. More than 500 people showed up – roughly half taking each side of this issue – to let the Labor Department know how they feel about the proposal. There were so many people who came out to attend the hearing that there was an overflow crowd, filling the hearing room and forcing the Department staff to make arrangements for those who couldn’t squeeze in to the main room.
Groups in support of eliminating the tip credit and those opposed held competing press conferences before the hearings got started. The energy on both sides was noted by a local reporter who described it as more like dueling protests rather than dueling press conferences. The coalition supporting the elimination of the tip credit – including so-called advocates for car wash workers, nail salon workers and restaurant workers along with an assortment of progressive groups – dominated the first 50 of the 150 speakers at the hearing leading to an occasional outburst from someone in support of the tip credit who couldn’t wait to get their voice into the conversation. But overall the speakers were split nearly evenly and before the afternoon was over the Department of Labor had gotten an earful, mostly politely, from servers and owners in the hospitality industry who oppose eliminating the tip credit.
The overwhelming turnout from the hospitality industry at the Long Island hearing was a collaborative effort of many groups and organizations who oppose eliminating the tip credit, but it’s success was due to individual servers, managers and owners taking this seriously, signing up to speak at the hearing and showing up. This was just the first hearing. The next hearings are:
- April 25th in Watertown
- April 30th in Syracuse
- May 8th in Buffalo
- May 18th in Albany
- June 27 in New York City
Sign-up now to speak at one or more of these hearings:
Register online at: www.labor.ny.gov/subminimum
Register by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Register by phone by calling: 518.457.5519
Don’t forget to sign up for our coalition newsletter at www.SaveNYTips.org for more information and updates and to connect your servers to the Supporters of the Tip Credit Facebook page so they can join servers around the state fighting for our industry.