Are you tired of reading bad news about lawmakers acting in direct opposition to the needs of the people they’re supposed to represent? If so…I’m sorry, this is more of that. (But read to the end to find out what you can do!)
Today’s dispatch is from the state of Maine, where this week, a bunch of (mostly male) legislators are trying to undo the minimum wage increase to $12 an hour that voters approved on the November ballot. Especially at risk is the part of the measure that would give a long overdue raise to Maine’s (mostly female) tipped workers and eventually ensure that tipped workers can count on making the regular minimum wage before tips.
The measure approved in November, which has already started to take effect, will help hardworking women and men across the state pull their families out of poverty and move toward economic security. It will help restaurant servers and other tipped workers know they have a paycheck they can depend on even when business is slow or tips are crappy, and make them less vulnerable to the sexual harassment that is far too often a part of the job when practically your entire income depends on the whims of your customers. And it will strengthen the state’s economy as workers spend their higher earnings in their communities. Clearly, Maine voters had a bunch of very good reasons to check the box on Question 4 last year.
Yet this Wednesday, April 5, the legislature’s joint Labor Committee will hold a hearing on nine (yep, nine!) bills that together attack every aspect of the minimum wage measure their constituents voted for—including multiple bills that would cut wages for tipped workers.
The good news is it’s not too late to stop them! If you live in Maine—or know someone who does—you can help send a clear message to the legislature that women and men deserve nothing less than one fair minimum wage. Click here to contact your representative and tell them to reject any attempts to roll back wage increases for Maine workers.