Chicago – One Fair Wage Hits the Streets to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2022

Chicago – One Fair Wage Hits the Streets to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2022


MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Tuesday, March 8, 12:00 PM

CONTACT: Madison Donzis |

TUES. 12PM: Advocates Rally at Thompson Center in Chicago on International Women’s Day to Pass New IL Legislation to End the Subminimum Wage for Tipped Workers as Best Way to Address Great Resignation and Get Women Back to Work 

One Fair Wage Says the Subminimum Wage Disproportionately Harms Women, Creates  Economic Instability, Prevents the Wage Gap From Closing, and Is Key Challenge Driving Women to Leave the Restaurant Industry 

CHICAGO, IL – This International Women’s Day, starting at noon, activists rallying to end the subminimum wage will gather outside Thompson Center in Chicago, calling on the IL State Legislature to pass new legislation introduced by Representative Camille Lilly to end the subminimum wage, which they say disproportionately harms women and Black women in particular, drives economic instability, and prevents the wage gap from closing.  With over 1 million restaurant workers having left the industry during the pandemic, especially women, and hundreds of restaurants raising wages to recruit staff, both restaurant workers and employers are calling for One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage with tips on top – to create a level playing field for all businesses and get restaurant workers back to work. 

The rally is being organized by One Fair Wage, a national nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of tipped subminimum wage workers and joined by local Chicago allies. One Fair Wage just released a report showing that the pay gap between Black women and white men tipped workers has grown over the last four years, and that as a result, Black workers have left the restaurant industry at three times the rate of other workers. 

WHERE: The Thompson Center 100 W Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601 

WHEN: 12:00 – 2:00 PM

SPEAKERS: Restaurant Workers;

‘High Road’ Restaurant Employers, who are members of RAISE: HRR, an association of over 2,000 small and independent restaurants committed to raising wages and working conditions in the restaurant industry.

Wendy Pollack from Shriver Center on Poverty Law

The rally follows months of reports of increased harassment, hostility and racial discrimination in restaurants, highlighting both the impossible situation faced by workers forced to enforce public health mandates on the same customers from whom they must obtain tips, and the racial inequities faced by workers and customers of color. Ending the subminimum wage would enable women to achieve greater gender equity and significantly reduce sexual harasment and gender-based violence at work.

According to a new report from One Fair Wage, titled The Great Black Restaurant Worker Exodus, the subminimum wage for tipped workers has disproportionately affected Black workers–particularly Black women–and its impacts heightened during the pandemic: the race and gender wage gap between Black women tipped workers and white men tipped workers increased by more than a third (36 percent) over the last four years, from $4.19 an hour in 2017 to $5.68 per hour in 2021 (in 2020 dollars). Black women tipped workers always earned less than their white male counterparts due to both customer bias in tipping and their segregation into lower-tipping positions and more casual restaurants, where tips are less than in fine dining establishments. This gap has worsened as the subminimum wage for tipped workers has stagnated at $2.13 an hour at the federal level – subjecting all workers to greater dependence on these racial inequities of tipping. 

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