One Fair Wage: The Key To Saving The Michigan Restaurant Industry Post-COVID 19

The Key To Saving The Michigan Restaurant Industry Post-COVID 19 

The subminimum wage for tipped workers is still just $3.75 an hour in the state of Michigan. A direct legacy of slavery, the subminimum wage raises wages for a workforce of over 163,000 tipped workers that is 74 percent women and 21 percent people of color, and positively impacts an overall restaurant workforce of nearly 293,000 workers in Michigan.

Michigan is a shining example of the persistent popular support for One Fair Wage. In 2018, One Fair Wage was on the ballot. Given the popularity of the issue, the Michigan legislature passed an increase in tipped minimum wage. Unfortunately, in passing the legislation, it removed the measure from the ballot. Further, the legislature then went on to dramatically weaken the legislation and overturn the passage of One Fair Wage. In response, we focused on intensive voter turnout activities to demonstrate that people’s mandate that the minimum wage measure not be altered. This led to increased turnout in the 2018 election.


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