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Restaurant Video On YouTube Encourages President Obama And Governor Cuomo To Increase The Minimum Wage

strongforall, YouTube

A group of restaurant owners is collaborating on a video designed with the hope of catching the attention of President Barack Obama and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The group Strong Economy for All, “Strong for All,” is joining forces with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, or “ROC,”  to lobby Albany legislators to raise the minimum wage.

Nationally the minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour.  In New York State it is $5.00 per hour.  For untipped workers the minimum wage in New York is $7.25 an hour.  The group supports a raise to $9.00 an hour, and allowing for future adjustments for inflation.

Several restaurant owners and workers representing the groups are now taking part in a YouTube video designed to serve as a lobbying tool.  Alongside their staff members, New York restaurateurs Carlos Preciado of Crema, Barbara Sibley of La Palapa, Farid Ali Lancheros of Bogota Latin Bistro, and Shardha Young of Colors are featured in the video.  Colors’ approach to wage parity is part of their foundation; the eatery proudly proclaims itself to be the only cooperative restaurant in New York, owned and operated by its workers.

While many mom and pop restaurant owners officially oppose raising the minimum wage, the members of ROC believe that by increasing the minimum wage they will eventually cut their costs.  Members say better wages translate into better workers, and increased longevity of the their workforce.  Increased wages, members argue, would mean less turnover for an industry plagued by the employment equivalent of bar-hopping.

Barbara Sibley, chef and owner of La Palapa, says her colleagues feel it is important to “invest in each other.”  Sibley will be our guest on Thursday, February 28, 2013 on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning.

If you have not seen the video, it appears below.  As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.


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