MEDIA ADVISORY: Press conference to draw attention to the low $2.13 subminimum wage for restaurant workers

WHAT: Press conference in support of restaurant workers
WHO: The NC Justice Center, North Carolina Council of Churches, the North Carolina AFL-CIO, and NC MomsRising
WHEN: Monday, February 13, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Nash Square Park in Downtown Raleigh, SE corner at Martin and MacDowell Streets (Rain location: NC Justice Center, 224 S. Dawson Street, Raleigh)

RALEIGH (February 10, 2012) – The North Carolina Justice Center, North Carolina Council of Churches, the NC AFL-CIO, and NC MomsRising will co-host a press conference on Monday, February 13 in support of restaurant workers across the country who are being undervalued and underpaid for their work. The chosen date – 2/13 – intends to draw attention to the low $2.13 subminimum wage for restaurant workers.

The restaurant industry is growing in North Carolina, with food service occupations projected to have one of the highest growth rates in the state over the next decade. Yet occupations associated with food service are among the lowest paid in the state, and offer few employment benefits including health insurance and paid sick days.

The current federal and North Carolina tipped minimum wage is just $2.13. Employers can pay workers the lowest, subminimum wage as long as the $2.13 wage plus tips is equal to $7.25 – the binding state and federal minimum wage – over the course of the workweek. Over time, the gap between the subminimum wage and minimum wage has increased, with workers currently expected to make up more than two-thirds of their hourly pay through tips.

The press conference will feature restaurant workers, service providers, and speakers from the NC Justice Center, North Carolina Council of Churches, the AFL-CIO, and NC MomsRising. The event will also be in support of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United’s congressional briefing, which will take place in Washington, DC on the morning of Feb. 13.

The press conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Nash Square Park in downtown Raleigh.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ajamu Dillahunt, Senior Outreach Coordinator, Workers Rights Project at the NC Justice Center, Ajamu@ncjustice.org, 919.856.3194; Sabine Schoenbach, Policy Analyst, Workers Rights Project at the NC Justice Center, sabine@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2234; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).