Dress Up Like the'80s and Picket Outback Steakhouse
The Florida AFL-CIO is inviting all restaurant workers who work for tips and union members to show up in 1980s garb and and wave signs in protest of this bill which would lower the minimum wage for tipped workers in Florida from $4.65 per hour to $2.13 an hour, a rate last seen in the '80s.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) has been heavily lobbying for this bill to pass, urging restaurateurs to fill out and sign form letters like the one on their website, which state that the bill would help both restaurateurs struggling to stay in business because of increased food costs, unemployment tax hikes, and minimum wage laws, and restaurant workers.
Jim Junecko of the Florida AFL-CIO says that this bill would hurt restaurant workers by not allowing them to make a fair wage for a day's work. "There's no system to track whether or not a tipped restaurant worker is really making up that gap between the lowered minimum wage for tipped employees and the state standard minimum wage as it stands now. If the rate is lowered to $2.13, workers will be making what they made in the mid 1980s."
Junecko said that tipped employees will have an opportunity to speak at the rally to share their concerns over this bill, which is sponsored by the Florida State Senate Commerce and Tourism Division. The bill had a preliminary vote on February 16, and was passed with a 5-1 vote in favor of SB 2106. If the bill is passed by the Florida State Senate, it could go into effect as early as July, 2012.
The rally will be held in front of Outback Steakhouse, 15490 NW 77th Court, Miami Lakes. Outback Steakhouse is one of a few major restaurant chains that support the bill.
Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.