Illinois Needs Full & Fair Wages

The General Assembly passed the state budget early in the morning on April 9, 2022, which included $50 million of relief funds for restaurants-–without a guarantee that help will mean meaningful relief for Illinois’s restaurant workers.

For too long, restaurant workers have been forgotten. Today in Illinois, tipped workers — of whom restaurant workers are the vast majority — are not guaranteed a full and fair minimum wage. Instead, they are paid a subminimum wage: $7.20/hour. The pandemic has made things worse: tips are down, and harassment is up. That is why thousands of workers have left the industry and won’t come back until they can earn a fair wage. They simply can’t return because their families can’t survive on $7.20/hour.

Any relief for restaurants should be predicated on raising the wages of workers. And short-term relief will not be enough to bring workers back to the industry. Only ending Illinois’s subminimum wage for tipped workers will do that. Illinois should take the long-term step to guarantee restaurant workers earn a full and fair wage.

“No relief for service industry restaurant workers, but legislators are going to sign a bill for Restaurant Owner Relief. What about the service workers in the restaurant industry? We want relief. Help us because we voted for you. The way to give us, the workers, relief is to pass One Fair Wage. NOW is the time to end the subminimum wage in Illinois by any means necessary. We must end this harmful practice and devaluation of human labor.”

Antoinette ‘Jewel’ Simmons, a longtime Illinois restaurant worker

“Illinois has an opportunity to change the face of the industry and influence other states to end the inequities plaguing restaurants for decades. Home to Chicago and its 27 Michelin-ranked restaurants, Illinois can affect permanent change by ending the subminimum wage. The relief provided by the federal government is based on the existence of these unfair wages. We must give them a higher threshold so we can keep restaurants alive.”

Monique Carter — MJB Restaurant Group / SKETCH

The Illinois Full and Fair Wage Coalition is made up of workers, social justice organizations, and restaurant owners who are demanding the end of the subminimum wage for tipped workers.

Illinois Full & Fair Wage Coalition Organizations

--

--

--

WE relentlessly pursue equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to education, & advocating for fair, inclusive workplaces.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Why I really should vote in 2019, Or maybe Not! The Dilemma

One Person, One Vote; My Vote, Not Yours!

Elizabeth Warren’s sound strategy

Please, please Donald. Don’t go away. Run again another day.

“The Congressional Mentorship Act”

If you’re mad at the Barron tweets you’ve definitely never made fun of Sasha, Malia or Chelsea.

When John Lewis Became My Personal Hero

Invisible Hands delivers connection to communities in need

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Women Employed

Women Employed

WE relentlessly pursue equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to education, & advocating for fair, inclusive workplaces.

More from Medium

The Medici’s — A Chronological Summary

The Slap Is About All Of Us.

True LA Stories~A Glimpse Into The Secret Lives in the City of Angels

How to know whether you are eligible for Italian citizenship by descent or not