April 15, 2022 • Schneps Media
BY DEAN MOSES
Maloney, Deputy Secretary
of Labor Julie Su, and others
spent the morning of April
11 waiting tables in hopes of promoting
fair wages throughout the
Slipping into the shoes of servers
at Baodega on 7 West 20th St.
in Chelsea, the officials advocated
for staff all across the city to receive
a full $15 per hour minimum
wage with tips by waiting
on those whose profession it is to
wait on others.
Members of One Fair Wage —
an organization working to end all
subminimum wage — took seats
and prepared for their orders to
be taken. Maloney and Su darted
around the tables jotting down the
names of drinks and breakfasts.
Then the small band of fledgling
servers filled up coffee cups and
juggled trays of sandwiches before
dropping off the dishes.
This was not only an effort to
raise awareness for the subminimum
wage but also to showcase
the difficulties of being a server in
the Big Apple. According to One
Fair Wage, during the COVID-19
pandemic waitresses have seen a
rise of sexual abuse and have repeatedly
been asked to lower their
masks in order to have their looks
judged for tips.
With individuals such as the
congresswoman waiting tables, it
is hoped that more attention can
be drawn to their cause.
“Change doesn’t come easily, but
it comes if you never give up,” Maloney
said after donning an apron.
“Not only are the majority of the
workers female, they are underpaid,
underappreciated, and often
face constant sexual harassment.
Anyone who works eight hours
should get a minimum wage.”
Su agreed, also stating that helping
to fund a worker also aids in
funding the business.
“We have seen employers across
the country respond to this moment
by realizing the welfare of
workers is critical to the wellbeing
of their business. That there is a
deep interconnection between how
workers are treated and how profitable,
how sustainable a business
is,” Su said.
Additionally, the tour shined
a light on the pandemic-created
program “High Road Kitchens’”
success, which are restaurants that
receive government grants since
they are committed to paying staff
full minimum wage and tips. One
Fair Wage hopes that this showcase
will bring about the necessary
change to end subminimum wage
for tipped workers and boost the
food industry as the city moves
forward from the pandemic.
This was but one stop on a
larger tour the Secretary of Labor
is participating in. She is also making
stops in Queens and Brooklyn
where she will serve more diners.
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
Secretary of Labor Julie Su brought plates of rice pudding.
More political coverage online at
Deputy labor secretary steps into servers’ shoes in Chelsea