Chicago groups call for raising minimum wage for tipped workers

Chicago activists are pushing to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Six Chicago alderpersons joined One Fair Wage and High Road restaurant owners outside Wednesday's City Council meeting. They want to phase out sub-minimum wages for restaurant workers.

As of July 1, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers in Chicago will be $16.80 an hour, whereas those who receive tips will make $8.80 an hour in addition to their gratuities.

Officials and groups are appealing to Mayor Brandon Johnson and his promise to address youth unemployment.


"Study after study shows that when you force workers to work for sub-minimum wage and to be able to make end's meet by getting tips, you expose them to sexual harassment, you expose them to greater rates of wage theft, you expose them to abuse in the workplace. So many workers are unable to put food on the table after working a long day because they just did not make enough in tips," said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th).

One Fair Wage representatives said the restaurant industry is the largest employer of people in Chicago between the ages of 16 and 24.

They also cited statistics that say restaurants are the first job for one in three Americans.