Tag Archive | minimum wage

Michigan Court of Claims Rules Reversal of State’s 2018 Minimum Wage Law Unconstitutional

The State of Michigan Court of Claims issued a ruling that the Michigan legislature’s 2018 decision to reverse state law mandating a $12 minimum wage for all workers, including tipped workers earning the subminimum wage, was unconstitutional. 

VIEW THE ORDER HERE: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LHKvdlZbu1iiBp48oAQFXbCdkR5CBP5N/view?usp=sharing

In reaction to the Court’s announcement, Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage, a national nonprofit advocating on behalf of restaurant workers earning the subminimum wage for tipped workers, issued the following statement:

“The subminimum wage for tipped workers has existed since Emancipation in 1863, when restaurant owners sought to hire newly freed slaves and pay them nothing, making them live on tips alone. Workers have been fighting this subminimum wage, which has been a source of sexual harassment and racial inequity, for decades – including in 2018, when we collected 400,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot. 

“Today, the courts in Michigan vindicated the rights of these millions of workers, and millions of voters, to demand that workers in Michigan be paid a full, livable wage with tips on top. So many states are about to follow – given the Great Resignation. And Michigan’s minimum wage will continue to go up, because we at One Fair Wage have collected enough signatures to force the wage up to $15 an hour in 2024. Today we made history!” 

Mark Brewer, election attorney, added: 

“This is a great victory for all Michigan workers and for all Michigan voters whose constitutional right to initiative has been protected by the court.”

In 2018, the Republican-controlled legislature passed as law two ballot measures approved to be on the November 2018 ballot – a minimum wage increase and required paid sick leave – specifically stating that they were doing so in order to take these measures off the ballot and thus prevent low-wage workers and workers of color from going to the polls in large numbers. After the November 2020 election, Republicans then gutted the law with a simple majority vote, returning the proposed $12 per hour minimum wage for tipped workers down to a little over $3 per hour.

The Court’s decision was in response to a lawsuit, filed by One Fair Wage and a coalition of Michigan organizations, which argued that the Republican legislature’s attempt to subvert the will of the people through manipulative legislative practices should be deemed unconstitutional per the state constitution and demands that the law requiring a minimum wage increase and One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage for tipped workers, as originally passed, be enforced. The law would guarantee hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers a raise, including hundreds of thousands of tipped Michigan workers currently earning a subminimum wage, the full minimum wage with tips on top, as well as earned paid sick leave.

“It is a moment of severe restaurant industry crisis, when over half of restaurant workers are saying they’re leaving the restaurant industry due to low wages and tips, and Michigan restaurant owners cannot re-open due to a lack of workers,” added Jayaraman. “Over three quarters of Michigan workers say the number one reason they’d consider coming back to work in the restaurant industry, allowing restaurants to reopen, is a raise.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rick-snyder-michigan-minimum-wage-sick-leave_n_5c092023e4b0bf813ef4ac39

In solidarity with Michigan food workers

Strikes Waged Across the Country Come On the 12-Year Anniversary Since the Last Increase to the Federal Minimum Wage

Today, starting at 12:00, dozens of restaurant workers in Detroit will conduct a ‘wage strike’ at Mcdonald’s on 14142 Fordham in solidarity with McDonald’s cashiers and cooks going on strike. One Fair Wage leaders are demanding a full minimum wage plus tips in order to remain in the industry, with the overwhelming majority of them citing low wages and tips as a core reason for finding new employment.

The ‘wage strike’ is being organized by One Fair Wage, a national nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of tipped subminimum wage workers, and the Fight for $15 coalition, just before the July 24th date, which marks 12 years since the last increase to the federal minimum wage. 

WHERE: McDonald’s, 14142 Fordham, Detroit, MI
WHEN: Tuesday, July 20, 12:00pm EST
LOCAL CONTACT: Chantel Watkins, 313-623-9022

According to a report from One Fair Wage, 53% of all workers say they are considering leaving their restaurant jobs, with the overwhelming majority of them citing low wages and tips as a core reason for finding new employment. The report comes as restaurants (and other low wage paying businesses) across the country are reporting difficulty hiring new workers, with nearly 40% of restaurant companies saying they’re having trouble finding servers, cooks and other workers.

“The restaurant industry doesn’t have a worker shortage – it has a wage shortage. Tens of thousands of restaurant workers do not want to go back to work to earn poverty wages putting their lives on the line,” said Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage. “Now is the time to change that. With strikes taking place across the country this week, workers are demanding One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage wage with tips on top: the only way to put our nation back on the road to economic recovery and to ensure that restaurants and their workers can thrive as we rebuild our economy.”

The report, “It’s A Wage Shortage, Not A Worker Shortage: Why Michigan Restaurant Workers Are Leaving the Industry, and What Would Make Them Stay,” identifies how the core problem with restaurants recruiting workers isn’t the lack of workers available, but rather, the lack of workers who will go back to jobs that pay so little. The report finds that: 

  • 64% of Michigan workers are considering leaving their restaurant job with the pandemic. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Michigan workers report that they are leaving restaurant jobs due to low wages and tips. ‘Low wages and tips’ was the most popular reason for leaving the industry, nearly 7 percentage points higher than the second most popular reason — COVID health risks.
  • The vast majority of all Michigan respondents (77%) report having a full, stable, livable wage would make them consider staying at their job. Again, ‘full, stable, livable wages’ was by far the most popular factor that workers reported would make them stay at their job, nearly 30 percentage points higher than the second most popular factor — better COVID safety measures.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Michigan workers (89%) say their tips have decreased during the pandemic, and nearly three quarters (76%) say their tips are down 50% or more.
  • Michigan workers report leaving their restaurant jobs due to hostility and harassment from customers at a rate 24% higher than the national average.
  • 82% of Michigan workers reported coming into contact with maskless individuals at least once per shift. 62% know someone that has died from COVID. 
  • Women in Michigan were most than twice as likely as men to report a noticeable increase in the levels of sexual harassment during the pandemic (51% v 24%).

SEE THE FULL REPORT HERE: https://onefairwage.site/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OFW_WageShortage_MI-1.pdf