New York restaurant owners are pleading with Governor Cuomo and other state legislators not to make any additional increases to the minimum wage for tipped workers for at least five years.
This week, an approved increase of $2.50 per hour for tipped workers is scheduled to go into effect, raising the wage from $5 to $7.50.
“Employers in the hospitality industry are being hit with a whopping 50 percent increase to the tipped wage this week,” New York State Restaurant Association president Melissa Fleischut said in a letter to Cuomo. “The industry needs time to adjust to this dramatic increase.”
Conversely, when the wage increase was announced in February, the news was celebrated by workers in the industry, who will receive their first wage increase in four years. “Today’s announcement is a victory for the thousands of New York women who have been demanding a more just and hospitable work environment in one of the fastest growing and largest economic sectors in the country — the restaurant industry,” Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, said at the time.
The letter did not seem to make an impact on state legislators, however. “We've led the fight for a higher minimum wage and we support an increase for all workers,” said a spokesman for state assembly speaker Carl Heastie.