The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
February 11, 2014
February 13 (2/13) is fast approaching. On that day, restaurant workers and many others will be taking action to protest that the tipped minimum wage is a paltry $2.13 per hour.
Increasing the federal minimum wage has strong support from President Obama, from workers, and from the U.S. public as a whole. And support is building for increasing the tipped minimum wage too.
But there’s one group that isn’t speaking out strongly enough for workers’ rights: corporations. While we keep the pressure on Congress to pass legislation raising the wage in 2014, we also need to reach out to corporations that can make a positive impact.
In the restaurant industry, where many workers are paid as little as $2.13 per hour, companies like Darden Restaurants are among the big players.
Darden owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, the Capital Grille, and more. Most of us have a Darden restaurant in our community. They serve 425 million meals a year. Darden spent $2.73 million in the 2011–12 election cycle.
Take action: ask Darden to become a leader for a fair minimum wage and earned sick time.
Darden calls themselves a family of restaurants. We want them to be a corporation that supports working families!
As consumers, community members, and workers, we need to share our values and concerns with Darden now.
We are gathering signatures on this petition throughout the spring, in preparation for an in-person delivery to Darden in Providence, R.I., in June. We’ve gotten more than 14,000 signatures on a moral statement aimed at influencing Congress; now we need to get thousands of signatures on a statement specifically to Darden to get their attention. We can do it, but we need to start now!