Tipped bar and restaurant workers call for strike amid stagnant wages

Chicago News

CHICAGO — As the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt, tipped workers are perhaps having the hardest time surviving financially.

The minimum wage for tipped employees is under $6.00 an hour, an amount that many workers say is not enough, even when adding up all of their tips.

This fall, many rallying workers plan to strike by walking out of bars and restaurants where they work if they’re not given a wage increase.

“I’m not happy when my car runs out of gas,” one striking worker said.

Congressman Chuy Garcia led the rally, citing a report that claims tipped minimum wage workers make less than those who make minimum wage, with 25 percent more female tipped workers  living in poverty than white men.

“What we already know is how real the hustle is,” Garcia said. “It’s a struggle to fight for more hours and tips just to cover the rent and put food on the table.”

Illinois State Rep. Theresa Mah also attended the rally and supports implementing a wage increase for tipped workers.

Both Mah and Garcia plan to bring the issue up again in the fall, after a bill failed to pass in both the state and federal houses.

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