Campaigners for a “One Fair Wage” poll initiative in search of to permit tipped employees a normal minimal wage introduced the petition has far exceeded the 75,000 signature threshold required to safe a spot on the November 2024 poll on Monday.
“We’re here today to celebrate that we have officially gathered over 100,000 signatures,” stated One Fair Wage Organizing Director Estefania Galvis at a press occasion Monday night. “And we are very, very confident it will be on the ballot next year.”
The One Fair Wage poll query, if it goes to the poll and is handed by voters, would incrementally part out the state’s minimal $6.75 “service rate” wage by 2029, permitting tipped employees in restaurant and hospitality industries to earn at the very least the usual minimal wage along with suggestions.
The poll initiative was proposed within the fall and should cross further measures with the intention to be placed on the 2024 poll.
Proponents on the press convention famous that residents who signed on to the petition had been typically shocked and “ashamed” of the wage system for tipped employees within the state.
“Our worker leaders said when they tried to get signatures, people said, ‘I am so embarrassed that Massachusetts has a wage of $6.38 an hour,’” stated Saru Jayaraman, President One Fair Wage.
“We are going through a moment of incredible worker upheaval and power,” Jayaraman stated. “1.2 million workers have left this industry saying, ‘I can no longer work for these wages.’ Tips have gone down. Harassment has gone up for a workforce that is still overwhelmingly — guess who — women, disproportionately women of color and the highest rates of single moms of any occupation in the United States.”
The occasion additionally featured help from figures together with Rep. Ayanna Pressley, former Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and activist Kerry Kennedy and awarded native restaurateurs from Mei Mei, Mamaleh’s
and Comfort Kitchen for paying workers at or above a normal minimal wage.
Organizers famous the initiative has already handed in Washington D.C., Chicago and 7 states. The group is aiming to have payments and poll measures handed in 25 states within the subsequent three years, she stated, marking the 250th anniversary of the U.S.
Proponents spoke to opposition from the restaurant business and argued that the measure doesn’t in impact damage small enterprise. In locations with the elevated wage, Jayaraman stated, they’ve seen optimistic indicators for restaurant gross sales and job progress and reduce down sexual harassment.
“Now the time has come for Massachusetts,” stated Jayaraman. “It will happen here if it goes to the ballot. The polling shows it’s going to pass. It is time. It is so time.”