It’s Triad Restaurant Week, and you know we can’t resist an opportunity to share our appreciation for North Carolina’s incredible restaurant workers.
Restaurant workers represent about 11% of our state’s workforce. They generate, on average, three billion dollars every year in state and local taxes.
But for most restaurant workers, minimum wage is too low ($2.13 per hour for tipped employees), paid leave is non-existent, and there are no options for employer-provided health insurance and retirement plans.
Restaurant workers are the backbone of several local economies in North Carolina, and too often, they are overworked, underpaid, and undervalued.
So here at Women AdvaNCe, we teamed up with Davidson Local and Triad Restaurant Week to distribute swag bags to restaurant workers in Winston Salem, High Point, Lexington, Thomasville, Greensboro and Durham. We filled these bags with gifts and information about workers’ rights to bolster restaurant workers’ efforts to advocate for themselves and their families at work.
We’re also working with these groups to organize tours for political and community leaders to learn more about the needs of restaurant workers. Women make up the majority of tipped restaurant worker positions, and a lot of these women are single moms.
We need more voices advocating for our state’s restaurant workers. Here are some ways you can help today:
- Call your US House Representative and request that they work to expand the FMLA criteria so that it includes restaurant workers. You can find your US House Representatives at this link: www.house.gov/representatives/
- Share this link for the NC Hospitality Workers Relief Fund which provides financial assistance to hospitality workers experiencing a lack of access to housing institutions or structures, major health conditions and cost of extraordinary health care, and general decline in the standard of living due to unemployment, underemployment, or other lack of economic opportunities: www.ncrla.org/foundation/nc-
- Show a restaurant worker your appreciation with a kind thank you and an extra big tip this week — it makes more of a difference than you realize!
Thank you to all of our readers who are restaurant workers — and for those of you who aren’t, thank you for doing your part to support restaurant workers in NC! We also want to thank the folks at NC Justice Center for providing us funding to help with projects like these.
If you didn’t get a swag bag this Triad Restaurant Workers week, let us know where you work, and we’ll try to get to you next year! For anyone who wants to contribute to our grab bags, you can do so at this link: www.womenadvancenc.org/donate/
Keep reading for more about what’s going on at Women AdvaNCe this week.
Until next time,
Antionette Kerr and the Team at Women AdvaNCe
PS. In need of a new T shirt, hat, mug, or tote bag? Buying your favorite women’s rights advocate a gift? Check out our online store, where all proceeds go to Women AdvaNCe: https://women-advance.sellfy.