This article “Making $2.13 an Hour and the Boss Skims Tips? How We Can Fight Exploitation in Restaurants”, Erik Loomis talks about how restaurant managers and corporate take advantage of their employees through tips. The way they do this is by paying their employees a wage based mostly on tips instead of regular living wage. This wage is a noticeable difference from a living wage because most of their income is based on tips, rather than pay checks. What the corporate does is take these tips or percentage of these tips to earn more money while still saving money by paying their employees less.
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One way to solve this problem is to eliminate tips altogether. A place in Austin, Texas called the Black Star Co-op does not allow it employees to accept tips. Instead they are only paid hourly wages with benefits. One employee at the Black Star called it “workplace democracy”. Some employees are also capable of earning more through tips according to Dana Curtis, but she also said that this “democracy” gives you a “sense of agency with your job”.
The reason I chose to write about this is because I personally used to work in a job where we had tips and the management took advantage of that and every day after closing we would have only two employees closing. It would be my co-worker and I; we would put all the tips together and split them in three, for my co-worker, my manager and I. It was my first job so I was afraid of getting fired if I said anything to my manager, but I just didn’t find it fair that we were required to give her some of our tips when she was never there in the first place.
Employees are being taken advantage of everywhere and in all different ways. This is only one way and it’s very obvious that it won’t stop, but there are people who are fighting for themselves like the Restaurants Opportunity Centers United. These people fight for other things too, like racism and sexism. I’m sure there are other organizations fighting too and they will always be more.