83% of US restaurant and bar waiters has seen the tips go down during the pandemic and 67% found that when they try to get customers to comply with the protocols against covid 19, they leave them less money than usual for the service, according to a new study.
The One Fair Wage organization, which encourages every state in the country to grant these workers, mostly women and of color, the full minimum wage regardless of what they receive as tips, surveyed 1,675 people who serve the public in establishments where food is served to find out if the pandemic has brought changes in attitude in customers.
The survey was conducted in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, by phone and email between October 20 and November 10.
One Fair Wage destaca the high levels of unemployment suffered by waiters due to the closure of restaurants and bars due to confinement and the problems encountered, including an increase in sexual harassment, in the restricted reopening of these establishments.
The organization considers a “legacy of slavery” that at the federal level the salary of these workers is set at $ 2.13 an hour, below the minimum wage, and that in order to sustain themselves they depend on tips from customers, such as it happens in 43 states of the country.
Only seven states – California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, and Alaska – are required to restaurants pay minimum wage to its employees, highlights One Fair Wage.
“These workers have become essential and de facto public health gendarmes, as they must enforce the protocols of use of masks and safety distance in one of the most dangerous environments for the spread of the pandemic, “says the non-governmental organization.
Of the 83% who said tips fell during the pandemic, 66% put the reduction in at least half.
78% said they had experienced or witnessed behavior hostile by clients to your efforts for enforcing anti-covid-19 protocols
In fact, 67% reported receiving less than usual tip after being asked to wear masks or to distance themselves.
One Fair Wage highlights that 60% of workers who are supported by tips have not been able to access unemployment benefits because their salary is so low that they do not qualify.
The study, whose title is a phrase that a client said to a waitress (Take off your mask to see what tip I leave you), dedicates a chapter to the sexual harassment of waitresses and baristas and publishes a long list of comments similar to the one mentioned.
43% of female workers surveyed said they have experienced or witnessed unwanted sexual comments specifically related to covid-19 prevention protocols.
Regarding exposure to covid-19, 10% of those surveyed said have been infected and 44% than in the restaurant where they work there have been one or more employees who have contracted the disease, says the study, in which several academics and universities have collaborated.
The United States, the country with the most cases and deaths from covid-19 in the world, is experiencing a rebound in the pandemic this fall. On Saturday it registered 229,859 new infections and broke the record for infections on Friday (225,594), according to the independent tally of Johns Hopkins University. Also, This Saturday 2,527 new deaths were registered compared to Friday.