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    Supporting ‘One Fair Wage’ with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in San Francisco

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    Last month, multi award-winning actresses and icons, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, visited Piccino Cafe in San Francisco to have “Coffee and Conversation” with supporters of the “One Fair Wage” initiative. Organized by Emmy Award-winning journalist Grace Kahng with support from Horizons Foundation, the event raised awareness and much-needed funding for the movement that shines a light on the economic exploitation of restaurant workers across the country.   

    While California has already implemented full minimum wage for tipped workers, in 43 states, restaurant workers earn $2.13 an hour and must rely on tips to earn a living wage. This disproportionately affects women, according to Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, as 70% of all tipped workers in the U.S. are women who often must tolerate sexual harassment in their interactions with the customer they serve.

    The goal of the organization is to mobilize voters in other states to approve ballot measures and demand that legislators adopt fair wage laws. When faced with reluctance from restaurant owners and arguments that businesses will fail, Jayaraman pointed out that in most countries, the responsibility to pay the worker is borne by the business owner, not the customer, and that “California has been doing it for decades and has a booming restaurant industry.”

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