PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Voters focused on raising wages for restaurant workers were out in force on Saturday. Statewide rallies focused on an industry crushed by the coronavirus pandemic. The protesters started at the state capital building in Harrisburg and then made their way to City Hall in Philadelphia to bring awareness to the disparity restaurant workers are facing, and the fact that they’re risking their lives every day they go to work during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to make a living wage. With restaurants at 50% capacity, they say tips are down between 50% and 70%, and with both New Jersey and Pennsylvania governors extending the public health emergency due to the alarming rise in cases, the fear is that the industry will once again suffer the consequences.
Protesters say the One Fair Wage bill currently in Pennsylvania is pushing to get them a living wage, which in turn will diminish housing insecurity. Workers who are brave enough to come out are standing up for those who currently can’t afford to.
“The person that brings your food is worth more than $2.83 and remember, it’s a legacy of slavery, so the most important thing is that as we perpetuate this, as we allow the law to stay as it is, we’re just perpetuating the legacy of slavery,” Tsehaitu Abye, with One Fair Wage, said. “It doesn’t make sense, so as we inform people, let folks know what’s happening, it’s kind of opening folks minds up, right? Like your favorite server, bartender, they’re not just there for kicks and giggles. They’re not getting that minimum wage.”
The national organization has been pushing for decent wages and say they won’t stop any time soon. They say they’re being backed by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
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