With the sun shinning bright Tuesday afternoon, MAK made it clear that she wasn’t going to allow the GOP to bully around Minnesota’s service industry workers. She has reached out to groups across the state and Tuesday wasn’t any different. She held a press conference to shed light on a growing issue amongst service industry workers. MAK’s GOP opponent has proposed to cut the minimum wage for waiters and waitresses and have them rely more on their tips. The believe is that it will save restaurants money and bring more new restaurants to the state. The plan suggests that Minnesota should drop the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $2.13 an hour for workers who make more then $30 in tips a month. It’s referred to as a “tip credit” or “tip penalty” and current laws allow the state to consider imposing such wage cuts.
I don’t know how anyone would expect another person to survive on $2.13 an hour plus tips considering our current economic situation. I don’t know any waiter or waitress that makes over $100K a year. I would know, because I worked in downtown Minneapolis for 3-years as a bouncer, and have the tax returns to prove it. Things have gotten better in downtown Minneapolis after the Twins stadium opened, but what about servers outside of the Twin Cities? Service industry businesses don’t have a constant flow of patron’s everyday, a majority of the time it’s hit or miss. MAK responded to the outrageous proposal by saying that its “…no different than stealing tips off the table.”
Why would the GOP even think about decreasing minimum wage, wouldn’t they want to increase it? This process of trying to decrease minimum wage for hard working Minnesotans has been going on for a few years now. In 2007, MAK introduced a plan that called for an increase in minimum wage but it was later vetoed by the governor. MAK worked on and passed minimum wage legislation with Rep. Tom Rukavina (District 5A) and Archbishop Harry Flynn in 2008. MAK made a promise today that she wouldn’t “…rest until we get 208,000 Minnesotans back to work and finally raise the minimum wage.” MAK wants minimum wage to increase by $1.50 by 2012. It seems like the GOP always tries finding a way to work against the people instead of working for them. The statements that MAK made today and the actions she has taken over the course of her political career show that she works for all the people. She understands the true concept and meaning of affirmative action. Affirmative action is for everyone, not just people of color.
Today I saw & heard a real Minnesotan speak about what effect the GOP’s wage cut would have on her life and the lives of her children. Renee Kroeten is a single mother from Plymouth who is supporting two children by working three jobs. Kroeten hopes that she can send her son to college but that dream will be ruined if her wages are cut. MAK cares for all Minnesotans and will fight for us, today showed more prove of that. The only reason why the GOP wants to cut wages for service industry workers is because they feel they can and they want to create the illusion that they are saving & generating revenue for the state. They are really leaving a group of under-represented Minnesotans out in the cold. The GOP knows that individuals in service industry are a minority group that doesn’t have a strong political voice at the capitol. Today MAK made it clear that she is going to fight for service industry workers and will make sure that all Minnesotans have a voice.