Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lies on Service Industry Wages

The position of the service industry on wages is that tips are a built-in part of the workers’ wages. This analogy is used by Marriott and other hotel/motel chains, plus fast food chains, and restaurants. These are huge and very profitable corporations so how did these corporations convince their customers that they should be subsidizing their workers? There is nothing wrong with giving a little extra for good service whether at a restaurant or hotel, but these workers should be paid a living wage and not be dependent upon tips because there are people out there who don’t tip or tip so little, like the 20 cents an NFL football player left recently, that the worker is being screwed over twice. It is not the tipper’s responsibility to ensure the workers receive a decent wage, it is the employer’s. The corporations should not be left off the hook by trying to make or guilt their customers into picking up the tab, like Marriott is doing. It is leaving envelops in the room of paying customers to leave tips for the maid staff. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation these businesses would be paying a hell of a lot more than what is being asked for today, $15 an hour or $10.10 at the federal level. Who in the hell came up with this line of thinking? Maybe anti-union-anti-workers greedy GOP people and just because they say their employees are service workers and not worth paying them a living wage of $15 to $18 an hour then clean your own damn toilets and try running your business without these so called service workers for a while. A strike or walk off comes to mind. Then we have people like etiquette writer Emily Post recommends tipping at a hotel $2 to $5 a day with a note of thanks. What the hell? Shouldn’t this all come from the employees’ bosses? Why doesn't Post suggest employers pay a living wage? I think the low-paying corporations hear the low wage toilers’ footsteps coming for them and this is their argument to the demand for better wages. They are simply trying to put this idea out to the public to get the unwitting and unquestioning public’s support for their reasons for paying such low wages. Another reason the corporations give for more tips instead of a higher wage is that when bookings are low the workers get less hours. Again, whose responsibility is this? Should we, the customers and low-wage toilers, let these greedy corporations duck their responsibility? I think they should be called out. Boycott these places and if you can’t then when you’re paying your bill, inform the owners they should be paying a living wage since their employees have bills to pay also. Marriott is partnering with Maria Shiver’s nonprofit, A Woman’s Nation, to encourage tips for housekeepers. Really, Maria? You’re a flippin’ Kennedy. You should be ashamed for selling out to the corporations. Your nonprofit is a cop-out and poor excuse for addressing the real problem. If corporations want more money for their wage slaves they should pay their wage slaves $15 to $18 an hour minimum wage so their employees can afford to stay at their establishments.