Low Wages In The Restaurant Sector

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Low Wages In The Restaurant Sector

Low Wages In The Restaurant Sector


While there are a few good jobs in the restaurant industry, most of the jobs are low-wage with a median hourly earnings of $8.92," says Steve Emmons, a coordinator for the advocacy group, speaking in South Portland at a meeting that included labor leaders, academics and restaurant owners and workers. The group also found that 90 percent of the restaurant workers surveyed lack health insurance, while a quarter said they experienced overtime violations. "That's significant because a lot of the time folks in the restaurant industry work more than 40 hours a week, but they're not getting paid more for that," Emmons says. "By law if you work more than 40 hours, you have to get time-and-a-half. It doesn't matter if you're in the front or the back, if you're a server or a buser, if you're in the kitchen, if you work more than 40 hours you have to get time-and-a-half."

Critics in the restaurant industry say such reports are part of a plan to build support for unionizing restaurant workers. "They're setting the stage, collecting the data, setting up employees, who really don't know what is happening perhaps, for the labor organizers to come right behind them," says Dick Grotton, executive director of the Maine Restaurant Association, which has about 800 members. In this paper I am going to discuss the current situation of worker's wages in the Kentucky State.


In 2000, the United States of America Foundation for the Improvement of Living as well as Working Conditions carried out the third American Survey on Working Conditions. In that survey, information was collected on the working conditions, health and wellbeing of employed and self-employed persons in the 15 Member States of the European Union. The Foundation's three surveys from the years 1990, 1995 as well as 2000 provide a dynamic picture of the development of a number of main characteristics in working conditions(www.ehow.com/how_2039510). The general picture that emerged from the surveys is sufficient to set priorities, but not detailed enough to understand the reasons underlying the situation described, and the policies undertaken at various levels to deal with it. The Foundation therefore initiated research to look at the quality of work and employment in two sectors: 'hotels and restaurants' as well as 'road transport'.

In many Kentucky, the sector has had to deal with a shortage of personnel during the last 10 years. Since the middle of the 1990s, the number of unfilled vacancies has increased. Many companies deal with long-term vacancies. There is a lack of trained and experienced personnel, due to the enormous growth of the sector. It is especially difficult to find qualified cooks and supervisory staff (middle management). Normally, the number of vacancies correlates negatively with the unemployment figures. In countries where unemployment is low, the number of vacancies is high. The number of vacancies in the hotel and restaurant sector, however, is more than a correlation of the employment figures ...
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