Women Workers Rising Action in NYC - 3 February 2020
February 3, 2020
WOMEN RESTAURANT WORKERS & ALLIES PROTEST GOV. CUOMO’S EXCLUSION OF RESTAURANTS FROM TIPPED WORKER EXECUTIVE ACTION
BY ENGAGING IN MASS PUBLIC SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING
‘Women Workers Rising’ Action By One Fair Wage and One Billion Rising
Will Feature Women Celebrities and Performances Standing in Solidarity For One Fair Wage & Safe & Dignified Workplaces
In response to Governor Cuomo’s New Year’s Eve announcement that he would enact One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage with tips on top – for all tipped workers except restaurant workers, women restaurant workers and their allies will stage a mass public self-defense training in front of the Governor’s office. Playwright/Founder of V-Day/One Billion Rising Eve Ensler, One Billion Rising, actress Carmen LoBue, social justice artist/musician Taína Asili, and the Resistance Revival Chorus will be joining One Fair Wage members and allies in demanding One Fair Wage and safe and dignified workplaces for all.
Given that New York State’s subminimum wage for tipped workers results in a 70% female workforce having to tolerate the highest rates of sexual harassment of any industry in order to feed their families in tips, women in the restaurant industry are demanding to be included in the One Fair Wage executive action. As long as they have a subminimum wage, they must learn to defend themselves from sexual violence in the workplace in order earn a living in tips.
One Fair Wage President Saru Jayaraman states, “Even though he announced that he would review the subminimum wage in 2017 specifically in order to address sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, Governor Cuomo instead gave One Fair Wage to other tipped workers and excluded restaurant workers – thus leaving them vulnerable to the highest rates of sexual harassment of any industry because of their reliance on tips. At a time that Pres. Trump is taking tipped workers’ federal rights a way, instead of rolling over to the power of the National Restaurant Association, Gov. Cuomo should follow through and enact One Fair Wage for all.”
Eve Ensler of One Billion Rising says, “I am rising on February 3 to honor and protect restaurant workers, to demand that they receive one fair wage which they so richly deserve and which will help protect them from sexual abuse on the job. This Women Workers Rising action joins the thousands of One Billion Rising creative resistance actions taking place throughout the US and the world, where women are rising up on the stage, in the streets, and in front of government offices, to demand changes in the policies and culture that sustain violence and inequality. We will rise until the violence stops.”
Here is a snapshot of what it looked like:
Photo Credit: Kisha Bari