My name is Alex, and I can’t wait five years for $15/hour.
I’m a bartender at Buca di Beppo in Minneapolis. Buca is a national chain with dozens of branches across the country. I know they can afford to pay us more, but after almost two years and two promotions I only make $9.50/hour, which every low-wage worker knows is not a living wage.
Tips are a large part of my income, but they are inconsistent, and my landlord doesn’t care whether tips have been good that month or not-- I need a living wage as my base pay for my rent and bills. I struggle to afford basic necessities and make my car payments. Tipping continues in cities and states where the minimum wage was raised, and no one is proposing otherwise. But $15/hour as a base would help me to plan for my future and not worry if I'm going to financially survive the next month on tips alone.
Years of workers organizing to demand $15 has finally spurred city council to action, and we’re on track to win a $15 minimum wage by the end of this month. But big business can tell we’re on the verge of a massive victory, and they’re pulling out all the stops to protect their profits. They’re trying to artificially extend the implementation time, so that workers like me wouldn’t get $15/hour for five more years. Buca di Beppo is part of a multi-million dollar international corporation: they could pay us $15/hour tomorrow.
Can you send your city council member an email to tell them that workers like me can’t wait five years for $15/hour? Or join me to tell them in person at the public hearing on the minimum wage next week.
Thanks and solidarity,
Alex D., 15 Now MN