Today in the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald, full-page ads thanked Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for standing with Maine’s tipped workers and voting against the elimination of the federal tipped minimum wage. After successfully rallying to restore the Maine tip credit and save their tips in 2017, Maine’s restaurant workers don’t want to see the tip credit eliminated at the national level.
A large body of economic research shows that Senator Bernie Sanders’ attempt to raise the national minimum wage to $15 per hour and eliminate the tip credit under the Raise the Wage Act would result in fewer job opportunities for tipped employees, diminished tip income, and fewer scheduled hours. According to economists from Miami and Trinity Universities, this latest proposal would kill nearly 1,300 jobs in Maine alone. When a 2016 ballot measure passed to eliminate Maine’s tip credit, restaurant workers testified before the state legislature on behalf of the earnings and job opportunities the traditional tipping system provided. Now, a national proposal would threaten the livelihoods of Maine workers’ hard fought tips, and those of servers and bartenders across the country.
The ad features the following quotes from restaurant industry workers across the state on the importance of preserving the tip credit:
- “The tip credit is vital to our ability to maximize our income and provide for our families.” – Joshua, Server in Portland
- “Abolishing the tip credit would decimate our industry.” – Amber, Server in Kenduskeag
- “The tipped wage system has elevated thousands of women above poverty.” – Sue, Bartender in Kennebunk
- “I am so thankful to our Senators for supporting the tip credit.” – Becca, Server in Bar Harbor
- “Thanks to the tip credit and tipping system, I made more than minimum wage on a daily basis.” – Kylie, Server in Portland
OurIndustryOurVoice.com, a website launched by the Employment Policies Institute, features video testimonials from tipped workers across the United States who say the tipping system isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing.