One Fair Wage

Sierra Jackovics and Milan Adaea Zavolta
Spring 2022

We worked together this semester for One Fair Wage (OFW), a national organization started by UC Berkeley’s Saru Jayaraman seeking to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which is federally only at $2.13. Aside from addressing income inequality, OFW’s mission also mitigates sexual harassment in the workplace. Not only does the restaurant industry (home to most subminimum-wage tipped workers) face the highest rate of sexual harassment than any other industry, but full wages with tips on top are the best way to reduce
sexual harassment since workers do not have to tolerate it (or even encourage it) to make a living wage in tips. Over the course of the semester, we both closely collaborated with each other to complete many tasks for Lenore Goldman, the Policy and Legislative Coordinator at OFW. We made a master 2022 Election Calendar for all 25 priority states OFW will be campaigning in; conducted subminimum wage research by each state for various sub-groups like students, workers with disabilities, and farmworkers; put together democratic candidate spreadsheets for US Congress, State Executive, and State Legislature races happening in priority states with upcoming primary elections; and crafted/sent out candidate questionnaires for all of those candidates who are uncontested Democrats asking about their support for OFW initiatives. Overall, while this work was very nitty-gritty, it was rewarding to know we produced tangible tools that Saru herself and the rest of the OFW organization will use to drive forward large-scale policy change across numerous states in the U.S. This partnership allowed us to participate in working toward a better, more equitable food system for not just farm and
restaurant workers, but all low-wage workers who are forced to survive in America without a living wage at all.

One Fair Wage

OFW event-3.jpeg

Angela Aguirre
Spring 2021

Only seven states have required that employers pay tipped service workers a full minimum wage, and One Fair Wage (OFW) is trying to change that. They organize service workers across the country and think of innovative ways to pressure the federal government and service industries into paying all workers not just a full minimum wage but a fair wage. For example, the California campaign is looking to start a CA Food Service Worker Cooperative to enable a fairer fight against the unfair policies lobbied for by the National Restaurant Association and perpetuated by larger corporations in the foodservice industry. Through my community partnership with the OFW California campaign, I explored various skills through tasks that will hopefully advance the cause for fairer wages. For example, I helped with research and data entry related to grants and restaurant spaces for the co-op. I also developed my understanding of digital advocacy by creating infographics and memes. I even attended an event where a U.S. House Representative was my server for an hour. However, the most meaningful part of my community partnership was solidifying my stance and potentially helping others realize that all workers, especially those in the food and service industries, deserve a living wage.