Oregon Restaurant Association Calls Oregon Senate "More Hostile"

Chuck Sheketoff

In a post on its website today, the Oregon Restaurant Association called the Oregon State Senate "more hostile."Download orahostile.pdf

More hostile than what? Given that they had just described their efforts in the House, they must think the Oregon House of Representatives is "hostile."

They really know how to win friends and influence people and work hard for those tips, don't they!

  • Julia (unverified)

    Come on, Chuck. More hostile to the legislation.

    Scandal? Inappropriate? Not unless you're fear-mongering.

    Of course, ORA's argument and bill suck. And their statement: "Nesbitt also didn’t have an answer for why Oregon faces one of the highest unemployment rates and coincidentally has the second highest minimum wage in the country."

    Ooooh. Yeah. Um, Nesbitt also didn't have an answer as to why Oregon faces one of the highest unemployment rates and coincidentally prohibits self-service gasoline. Or why Oregon coincidentally hasn't had a college basketball team in the final four, like, forever. This and other mysteries revealed on "ORA Theater" tonight at 9 on OPB.

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    Can anyone explain this? From the ORA site:

    <h1>Nothing in the legislation will cause a wait staff employee to make less money than they make today.</h1>

    OK, accepted for now at face value.

    <h1>Citing a University of Oregon study from 1998, the average income for waiters and waitresses is $15 per hour while cooks average $9.50</h1>

    OK, the average is $15 an hour.

    <h1>The legislation allows the employer to pay $7.25 an hour after minimum wage goes up next year only if reported tip income places that employee over next year's minimum wage.</h1>

    So, the average employee--who apparently makes more than double the minimum with tips included, meaning they will be caught in this law--will be excluded from the increase in the minimum next year.

    Given the fact that inflation exists, not earning the new rate next year (which of course is only being raised as a means of providing COLA...which is a hedge against inflation) means that the average wait staff employee will, in fact, make less money under the legislation.

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    PS--a restauranteur who previously publicly supported the House bill, has now told me they no longer support it. I am hoping they will allow me to use their name so that their previous comments won't hurt their future business.

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    10 of the 11 largest contributions made by the ORA in the last cycle, accounting for $87,000 -- more than 1/3rd of the total money raised by their PAC in 2004 -- went to losing candidates. It should come as a surprise to no one that the legislature is a little more "hostile" towards them this year.

  • David Wright (unverified)

    Joe, I've commented extensively elsewhere on this bill, which I have changed my mind about and no longer support. But I wanted to make a couple of remarks on the ancillary issue of inflation increases.

    First, given that inflation exists, restaurant bills will continue to rise as well, correct? And that is generally the basis for tips. So an employee who earns tips, but does not get an inflation increase in employer wages, will still earn more money. Maybe a greater increase than inflation, maybe less, depending on how the restaurant adjusts prices and how customers react. It's unrealistic to expect that a tip earner who does not get the inflation adjustment in minimum wage will see no change in earnings at all.

    Second, inflation is a fact of life for everybody. Anyone who earns more than minimum wage, and does not receive an increase for inflation, will see a loss in real spending power. Yet we do not mandate inflation increases for all wage levels. Does that suck for those who don't get the increase? Yep. Welcome to the real world.

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