The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Restaurant Workers Pay Bosses to Cheat Them

Jan 23, 2023

In four of the biggest states in the U.S.—California, Texas, Illinois and Florida—wait staff must take food-handling classes. Millions working in other states’ restaurants or bars must also take these classes, run by ServSafe. ServSafe was bought by the National Restaurant Association.

For more than a decade ServSafe has collected about $15 from every person taking these classes for a food service job.

These fees help pay for the National Restaurant Association to lobby Congress and state legislatures. As a result, almost half of all states allow tipped workers to make less than $3 an hour. In 2021 the restaurant owners’ association lobbied successfully against raising the federal minimum wage for all workers, including those getting tips. Twenty years earlier, the association also lobbied successfully against providing health care benefits to their workers.

In other words, a mandatory fee, paid by millions of waiters and waitresses, goes to lobby Congress to keep them receiving a below-living wage!