Seattle residents are serving up a heaping helping of spite after the city proposed an increase in the minimum wage. The opponents’ solution? They’ll just stop tipping.
Seattle already has the highest minimum wage in the country; paying its workers $9.32 an hour. The proposed increase will bring the minimum wage up to $15.00 an hour, making President Obama’s proposed increase to $10.10 seem measly in comparison. Washington already guarantees the state’s full minimum wage to servers, who will also continue making tips, and some residents say they’ll refuse to tip if their server makes more money than they do.
“I operate heavy machinery and make that… how does a fry cook get that?” said Carole Holfeld, who has been working as a forklift operator at Mega Brands for seven years, making $16 an hour. And if the minimum wage is raised to $15? “Zero tip,” she said.
According to a 2011 study by the Economic Policy Institute, compared to 6.3 percent of all workers, 16.7 percent of tipped waiters fall below the poverty line. The federal “tipped minimum wage is $2.13 per hour, set lower to reflect extra income from customer tips. If a tipped employee doesn’t make federal minimum wage from their hourly wage plus tips, their employer is required to make up the difference. A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office said that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would result in job losses of 0.3 percent and raise 2 percent of the population out of poverty.
But Seattle residents continued to voice their frustration via Facebook. Local news station KIRO 7 received over 3,200 comments when they asked, “If you knew a restaurant server was making $15/hour, what tip would you give? A – 15-20%, always B – 15-20%, unless the service was awful C – 10% or less D – No tip, ever E- Other. Various responses were submitted, but a large amount responded “D.” Seattle resident Heidi Gibson said, “Why would I tip someone making as much as me for doing their job? Nobody tips me for doing mine!”
The floor is open for discussion. Would you tip your server if you knew they made $15 an hour?
h/t: NBC News