Waitstaff and Other Restaurant Workers Committed to Spreading the Word: Dudley’s Not Good for Our Bottom Line

October 31, 2010
by Portland Restaurant Workers Association (PRWA)

The Portland Restaurant Workers’ Association and UNITE-HERE spent the last week educating workers about Chris Dudley’s statement against the minimum wage.

While Chris Dudley’s statements may not be a central campaign issue for him they touch on the central issue affecting our members’ livelihoods every day – how much money they bring home from work and whether it’s enough to support themselves and their families.

They also reflect his close ties to the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, which has continued to support a tip credit, an “opportunity wage,” and has donated almost $100,000 to the Friends of Chris Dudley campaign committee during the past year.

Chris Dudley’s support for a “tip credit” wage shows a clear misunderstanding of economics.  Cutting wages by up to 74% (from the Oregon minimum wage to the national minimum wage for tipped employees) is one of the worst things one could do during a recession.  It is a direct attack on the interests of working people.  How can we trust someone to be Governor and look after Oregon workers’ interests if they don’t understand the affects of a 74% wage reduction on those workers, and the subsequent affects on our state’s economy?

Restaurant workers are often younger and working class, and are less likely to vote than many other Oregonians.  We will be reaching out to these workers through phone banks, canvasses, and conversations at the workplace to ensure they have all the information about both gubernatorial candidates, and that they remember to vote.

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