The National Restaurant Association is urging Congress against implementing the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The association wrote a letter to congressional leadership Tuesday requesting Congress remove the act from the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. They warned that restaurants would suffer from a wage boost amid the coronavirus pandemic and cited results from a February survey polling 2,000 restaurant operators, who said that the increase would lead to job losses, higher menu prices and restaurant closures.
The survey found that 82% of restaurant operations say the initial wage increase would negatively impact the ability of the restaurant to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The survey results make it crystal clear that the restaurant industry and our workforce will suffer from a fast-tracked wage increase and elimination of the tip credit,” Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, wrote in the letter. “Restaurant jobs will be critical to every local community recovering from the pandemic, but the Raise the Wage Act will negate the stimulative impact of a worthy plan.”
Kennedy continued, “Passage of this bill this year would lead to job losses and higher use of labor-reducing equipment and technology. Nearly all restaurant operators say they will increase menu prices. But what is clear is that raising prices for consumers will not be enough for restaurants to absorb higher labor costs.”
The Raise the Wage Act, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced last month, would also eliminate the tipped minimum wage for restaurant service workers.
“Eliminating the tip credit will hurt millions of servers who rely on the current system where they earn between $19-$25 an hour with tips,” Kennedy wrote.
Kennedy understands the minimum wage issue in America, but thinks the Raise the Wage Act is “the wrong bill at the wrong time.”
“We share your view that a national discussion of wage issues for working Americans is needed,” Kennedy said, “but the Raise the Wage Act is the wrong bill at the wrong time for our nation’s restaurants.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Massachusetts Democrat Mayor wants to end ‘right-to-shelter’ law amidst migrant crisis
More Democrat leaders from non-border states are wising up to the immigration crisis our nation faces. Woburn mayor Scott Galvin, of the progressive state of Massachusetts, is hoping that lawmakers will overturn a 40-year-old law because the reality of being “bleeding heart liberals” is resulting in the demise of his town.
The 40-year-old “right-to-shelter” law has got to go, says mayor Galvin, because of the immense strain the thousands of migrant families are putting on the area’s residents. By Friday, there were about 150 families living in the city’s hotels, an “unsustainable” arrangement for his 40,000 constituents.
Galvin told the New York Times the right-to-shelter law, which only exists in Massachusetts, was “passed at a different time, and was not meant to cover what we’re seeing now.”
National Review reports:
Under the 1983 right-to-shelter law, Massachusetts officials are legally required to offer housing to any homeless families seeking shelter in the state. The law now covers a rising influx of migrant families, although individuals are not covered under its provisions.
“We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools,” said Galvin. “The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination, and without some changes, this challenge is not going to abate.”
Massachusetts Democrat Governor Maura Healey already declared a state of emergency on August 8th, requesting help from the federal government. On August 31, Healey activated up to 250 Massachusetts National Guard members to assist the more than 6,000 migrant families already in the state’s shelter system.
Approximately 6,300 families are living in emergency shelters and hotels across the state, up roughly 50 percent from the year prior. The cost for such accommodations for all the migrants is approximately $45 million per month, National Review reports.
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