The Maine House voted on a bill to decrease the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers, Jason Buckwalter and a dozen fellow servers listening to the vote call from the backroom of a Bangor steakhouse. And all of them are wanted to listen to one thing: the state legislators had voted to lower their pays. Buckwalter said some cried with relief when the lawmakers voted 110-37 in favor of lowering the minutest wage.
June 13 vote brought a conclusion to a political epic that has upset conformist wisdom about the minimum wage. Conventionally, workers reinforced such increases, which advocates say are critical to lifting millions out of poverty.
But in Maine, servers actively canvassed to transposal the results of a November referendum raising servers, salaries from $3.75 in 2016 to $12 by 2024, saying it would cause customers to tip less and reduce their take-home income.
This bill was signed into the law on 22nd June by the Republican Governer Paul LePage, he is the forceful critic of raising the tipped minimum wage, and will go into effect in January 2018.
The servers’ movement against increasing the minimum wage was a shock to labor activists, who have trust that the Maine referendum could kick off similar votes in places like New York, D.C., and Massachusetts. Some of the servers in those places are before now activating in contradiction of higher salary.
Buckwalter said, “The next fight is on the national level.” He is the man who prearranged the other waiters to vestibule Maine politicians and is now working with waitstaff in Minneapolis and Seattle. He said, “I had lost my faith in the government. This restored it, a little.”
And the federal labor law permits restaurants to pay their tipped workers less than the local least pay, provided that their total salaries, with tips, meet or surpass that minimum. And if the servers earning falls short of that, employers must pay the difference.
Sylvia Allebretto, a labor economist at the University of California, Berkeley said, tipped workers incline to have a poverty rate almost double that of non-tipped workers, and they are more likely to depend on the public support.
James Dill is the Democratic state senator and he initially supported the referendum, he told that he got hundreds of emails and phone calls from unhappy waiters. And after calls and emails from these servers, he again signed onto the Republican measure to lower down the tipped wage again.
He added his comments, “I believe in a higher minimum wage, but the people who this was impacting didn’t want it.”