If you are planning on going out to eat tonight, love the one you’re with, but don’t forget to thank those hard working women and men who prepare and serve your meal.
ROC-United held its annual Day of Action yesterday on 2.13 to highlight the low tipped minimum wage of $2.13 as well as the lack of access most restaurant workers have to crucial benefits like health insurance and earned paid sick days. Co-founder of ROC, and author of the just released book Behind the Kitchen Door, Saru Jayaraman noted:
Our food comes at great expense to the workers who provide it. The biggest workforce in America can’t put food on the table except when they go to work.
While it’s not a surprise that the vast majority of restaurant workers don’t have access to health insurance through their employers, it’s a particularly poignant fact for North Carolinians these days.
The median annual wage of those working in food prep/serving occupations is about $18K, which would place many of these workers in the position of being able to gain coverage through expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Medicaid expansion would provide coverage to an estimated 500,000 low-income state residents, yet state lawmakers seem determined to block it.
This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to learn more about the working conditions of those who provide us with our Valentine’s Day dinners.