Comments about ‘Letter: Server's wages’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Sandy, UT

Tessa, I support your efforts. Too bad your colleagues have been conned into going it their own since organizing could empower the group. Some here think it would be a shame if they had to pay and extra 2% and lose a few pounds because they have such a low opinion of those who serve them.

Deep Space 9, Ut

Personally I hate the fact that we are expected to tip more and more. It wasn't that long ago when it was customary to tip 5%. Now, we are expected to tip 20% more. I hate it. Why can't restaurants just pay a standard wage, and if I get great service, then I will leave a tip. If the waitress ignores me, no tip. The tip doesn't have to be that much, a few dollars to show my appreciation. Tipping should not be an expected part of an employee's wages.

If the menu lists my dinner as costing $15, that is all I want to pay for my dinner. The current system takes that $15 dinner and bumps it to $18 just to cover the servers, and bothers me enough that I don't tip as well if no tip is expected.

Orem, UT

"Hint... the Federal Government doesn't know what it takes to live in Beaver Utah vs Manhattan NY. So blindly setting the same government-mandated wage for restaurants in Beaver as in NY probably doesn't make sense (rent, etc, are higher in NY than in Beaver UT)."

Huh? And this information isn't easily available? Be honest, have you even tried to look this up? I just looked it up. If I can find cost of living statistics off of a 3 min google search then certainly the federal government can, right?

"Free-Economy-principles SHOULD work in Utah (in theory)."

In theory. But it doesn't work in practice, which is what actually matters.

"If all waitresses refused to work for $2.15... bosses would get tired of running the business AND having to get up from their desk and wait on tables too... and they would be forced to pay more."

Did you even read the letter? Many servers are living off food stamps to prevent starvation. They're being paid $2.13 per hr. Their owners are sitting on mountains of cash. In a prolonged strike, who do you think will outlast the other?

one old man
Ogden, UT

Dear Educator. Thank you for pointing out the disastrous results of Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage which, according to you, has produced the horribly awful and terrible unemployment rate of {GASP} 4%.

That is absolutely terrible. It could plunge the entire west coast into the sea.

One thing --- do you know what Utah's unemployment rate was as of last month?

Get ready for this.

It was 3.8%

Good grief. If we raise the wages for our servers we might add another 0.2% to our unemployment rate!

Terrible. Terrible.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I would gladly pay more for my meals if it meant better wages for workers and not extra profits for owners. I make it a point of tipping well because all my daughters were once servers.

By the way, telling this young lady to "get an education" is kinda funny because her letter is written using much better grammar, sentence construction and organization than most of the posts criticizing her here.

It sounds as if she already has a better grasp of the English language than many of those who try to demean her.

Sandy, UT

@Tessa, if we were all paid what we are truly worth to society many of those commenting would see a pay cut. Those disparaging you should walk in your shoes for a pay period.

Salt Lake City, UT

@2 bits
"But as long as we have a cheep source of labor willing to do it for #2.15/hour... that won't work"

If they aren't willing to do it they're called lazy moochers and welfare queens...

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

Those that think a simple strike will raise wages need to look up the "Market-basket strikes" in New England.

In liberals New England employees for the major grocery store chain Market Basket have been on strike for over a month. Despite being well organized, helping to fund raise for each other so they won't starve, and having overwhelming support from the media and public, their strike is on the verge of collapse. Why?

Because the owners are millionaires and can go months and years without paychecks while the workers cannot. Even the governor is calling for workers to go back to work. Not surprising, Market Basket is one of the governor's major campaign contributors.

So if a strike can't even work in liberal states where they're well organized and have support from the public, how do you think strikes in conservative states, like Utah, will work out?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT


I think you mis-understand the Market-basket strike. You asked us to Google "Market-basket strikes" and read the news.

The strike isn't about wages, it's an ownership battle.... it's about getting their CEO back.

The first headline was... "With jobs on the line, why are Market Basket employees so loyal to Artie T?"...

From the article... "Since the Market Basket board ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas in late June, thousands of the chain’s 25,000 employees have walked off the job in support of their former boss. In his place, the board, which is controlled by Demoulas’ cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, appointed two new CEOs."...

"This labor strike is attracting widespread attention because it’s not a labor strike in the traditional sense. Market Basket employees don’t belong to a union, and white collar managers are striking alongside the blue collar workers they supervise, rallying for Artie T.’s return"...

It's not people striking or quitting because they get paid $2.15/hour.

Where is SEIU? Why are they not helping their members get more than $2.15/hour??

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Schnee" you are wrong. If people don't want to work for those wages, the businesses will close. Then they can get a job elsewhere. Despite your illogical thoughts, you are not assigned a job when you turn 16 and have to work where the government wants you to. If you don't like working for minimum wage at McDonalds you can leave that job and go work anywhere else that will take you. If you have no skills and no desire to get any skills don't be surprised if you don't ever earn much more than minimum wage.

To "The Educator" and who is forcing those people to work for the grocery store. I looked up the "Market Basket" strike. It wasn't about wages. They wanted the previous CEO to return.

They fought, and now look at what they got. Many are losing their jobs, and some stores may end up closing. If they didn't like the wages, they were free to go elsewhere.

Look at Hostess. The workers lead a strike for higher wages, and ended up unemployed.

You are not forced to work for anybody, why not get out of a bad situation?

The Educator
South Jordan , UT


And the market basket strikes are about wages. They want the previous owner back because the cousin that took over wants to slash wages and benefits.

@ red/2 bits

Hostess didn't go under because of union strikes. They went under because they had 8'different CEOs in a short amount of time. Each one raised hostess until they left just a few months later. You can't have that kind of leadership and hope to stay afloat.

Here, UT

@Mountanman & JCS;

Waiting tables IS a skill. It is a SKILL that is necessary for the restaurant to survive. Without SKILLED servers, a restauranteur is going to go out of business.

Pay the servers the wages they deserve.

Phoenix, AZ

"Wrz, what happens when all the high skilled jobs are over saturated with qualified candidates?"

I don't know... Perhaps they start getting laid off like Microsoft's 18,000 in July and others. Here's some history from 1993 to present:

IBM: 60,000 employees (July 1993)
Hewlett-Packard: 27,000 employees (May 2012)
Hewlett-Packard: 24,600 employees (September 2008)
Microsoft: 18,000 employees (July 2014)

"What is the 99 percent of us supposed to do?"

Get an education, get a job, work hard, and get yourself a golden parachute.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

"They fought, and now look at what they got. Many are losing their jobs, and some stores may end up closing. If they didn't like the wages, they were free to go elsewhere."

Doesn't this support the notion that the "free market" sorting out isn't working? Workers wre being tossed aside, consumers are being ignored, and the fat cat owners remain rich and powerful. Why should a few rich people on top have the right to destroy so many lives and cost taxpayers millions? The government should look out for workers.

In my company, we compensate our workers very well. Could we slash pay? Sure we could! Loads of desperate qualified people still trying to recover from 2008. But the problem is, when we don't pay people well, what happens?

Workers don't work as well, turnover increases, and they cannot buy products. As one of the top members of my company, I have sat through meetings where we have discussed our responsibility to not only shareholders but to our workers and taxpayers. Unlike Walmart, we feel like the responsibility to pay our workers falls on us, not on taxpayers via food stamps and safety nets.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

@ wrz

""What is the 99 percent of us supposed to do?"

Get an education, get a job, work hard, and get yourself a golden parachute."

You just described perfectly how to kill an economy. Did you used to work for Enron?

If even those who are highly skilled and highly educated are being laid off, what hope does anyone have? We have a fundamental problem if we feel like highly skilled and educated workers can be laid off while the CEOs are still making millions/billions.

There's a problem there and I don't think i need to go into much more detail. It should be obvious.

Salt Lake City, UT


"Businesses has the right to hire and pay at the lowest possible rates."

Businessmen have a moral responsibility to pay their workers a fair wage. The country doesn't exist solely for greedy businessmen even though many of them think that it does.

"Getting an education will mean a different occupation and very likely significantly
higher take-home pay."

This is a rationalization for oppressing the hireling in his wages.


"The best and most effective way too have fewer employers (jobs) in America is to keep

"raising minimum wages!"

Standard, false, fearmongering propaganda used by greedy businessmen and stockholders in order to trick Americans into overlooking systematic oppression of hirelings in their wages. In-N-Out Burger -- which voluntarily pays their people more than do their competitors -- isn't killing job; it is CREATING jobs. And it is doing so while using more expensive, quality ingredients, AND without raising menu prices.

Sandy, UT

Wow so many comments from so many who really does not know the facts...

Some say it is the Repubs doing... that is all well, except for the problem that during the 50's and 60's when the Dems ruled Utah... Low wages for servers and tips was the way they made it up.

My mother was a waitress for 30 years... So I have some insight here.

Letter writer, Tips is based on how "YOU" work and serves the patrons, not how the patrons deals with you.

The better the service, the better tip "generally". Now we all know there are people who are tight wads, but that is true in any field of work.

you need to improve your service, if not, don't complain. I tip solely on the service I get, the maximum is 25 percent, the minimum is 5 percent.

Murray, UT

It’s a catch 22 situation.
The average restaurant has a hard time keeping good servers; because experienced-excellent servers go to high end restaurants. These servers do pretty well as far as tips
New-inexperienced-moderate servers do not get big tips in general. They deal with customers who have a higher then should be expected level of service. These customers tend to not leave a tip if they do not receive a “royal” level of service, which is hard for the servers, when the restaurants expects them to serve to many customers.
Good workers tend to either move to a better restaurant, or find some other kind of work.
All servers should be paid at least the regular minimum wage. Restaurants that do not want to pay this can close. There are more restaurants then needed anyway.
The remaining restaurants will get more business, and hire the excess workers from the restaurants that close.

Magna, Salt Lake, UT

With all respect to you and your profession--and I mean that sincerely--there is one thing you have going for you. And that is freedom to choose. I mean by that, that you might want to consider a new profession, one that would provide a better wage than what you are now making. Yes, I think food servers should receive a higher wage, because I believe they (you) are worth more than you are being paid. But the fact is, this is how the industry works today under the free market. And those, like yourself, are free to leave employment that doesn't pay what you/they think it should, and find employment in a more lucrative field. Forcing restaurant owners to pay a higher wage is simply not the way to go.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Tessa, those who tell you this is, "just the way it is" and "capitalism" are wrong. For much of the past century this kind of abuse hasn't happened. Sadly, over the past 2-3 decades, we have reverted back to the voodoo economics of the Gilded Age. That was a time when factories worked workers 50+ hrs per week and could put whatever they wanted into canned meat. It was a horrific time. It set up the progressive era which gave us the 40 hr work week, weekends, safety nets, food labels, and the middle class.

In time, we will get our priorities straight and get back on track. Right now, servers everywhere are being taken advantage of. Richies are making a killing. But that will soon change. We go through cycles.

There is a better way. Higher wages for workers and better working conditions will prevail. The rich's gouging of workers will soon end.

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