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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 31, 2013 8:00am-9:01am EST

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traveling and i'm about ready to do an asia tour. wherever i am i will be doing my cartoons. >> self-published, where can people find "daggers drawn"? >> you can get it from my website which is daggers you will also be available at the economist bookstore soon. so either way i recommend come and visit and i hope they enjoyed the book. >> kal kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for the economist. .. you are watching booktv. next, saru jayaraman talks about the experiences of food industry workers in the u.s. the second-largest private-sector work force in the country. she says these individuals, even those who work at restaurants that champion fair trade food options are paid the lowest wages and experienced the worst working conditions of any workers in the country. this is about an hour.
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>> in baltimore restaurant worker off and on, more on than off over the past 7 years and in that time i worked for three employers. all three employers have been a little bit dicey. there were things to object to in all of them. two of the three engage in waitstaff, wages that belongs to the employees. wage theft is at least potentially and sometimes actually a grave practice. it can have really serious, really grave human consequences. i will talk to you separately, described the baltimore restaurant's theme but the consequences of this can't be serious. for this reason it gives me a lot of pleasure to introduce our speaker tonight for the recent the best practice is serious and other related practices are
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morally serious. saru jayaraman's intellectual work is unique in bringing these practices to public attention, putting them into the public consciousness. they could not exist if they were seen. since the title of the book "behind the kitchen door". the practices are hidden, screened from us, they are behind something, otherwise they couldn't exist. her practical work is also very important and effective. saru jayaraman is co-founder of restaurant opportunity centers united. rock has done important work in a number of practical areas. it has recovered more than $7 million in wages that have been stolen from employees and other important work changes in restaurants. in addition, rock publishes a diner's guide which lists the small number of identified ethical restaurants and larger number of restaurants that have
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ethical problems. there is more work to do. if you have information get in touch with us. there is a flyer which has the e-mail address of the baltimore rock affiliate's on it. this practical work also, there is analysis, different categories of information with respect to which you get knowledge about their restaurants. this work also is important in bringing these matters into public consciousness. rock also has cooperated with others and set up worker owned restaurants. myself i think this is a promising model. these restaurants can be mass contributors to the community in ways some other restaurants are detriments to the community. in addition to all that, i think saru jayaraman's work will
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resonate and have affect more widely than just in the restaurant work place. she has done work that has importance for other aspects of the food system and i believe that her work will make changes throughout the food system not only in restaurants but i think it will be more important than that. the work is going to reform the low-wage service economy. this is important world we live in today. we move from a manufacturing economy. in the older days there were hard won but achieved, hard won protections for workers in the manufacturing economy. if the work place was unethical they could make complaints about that, they would be protected against retaliation, had institutions for making those complaints and protecting them
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against retaliation. they had benefits that could give them a secure future, provide for them as inevitable life events occurred if age, got ill, died and left survivors would provide for the survivors and these jobs have largely been lost. we moved into a service economy and as we move into a service economy, these protections have also been lost. i believe the work saru jayaraman is doing has a lot of potential to reform the structure of the economy we have today and reforming structure of the economy we have today means reshaping the society we live in. the issues are that fundamental. for all of these reasons, what i take to be uniquely important theoretical work, intellectual work, because of very important practical work, because of the gravity of the issues we are going to be discussing today, and because i believe this work
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will resonate and have affects widely, will restructure parts of the economy, reshaped the society we live in, for all these reasons it is my great pleasure to introduce our speaker today, saru jayaraman. [applause] ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> good evening. can you hear me? great to be here. thank you for having us and to paul for introducing me and
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getting engage with restaurant workers in baltimore. a pleasure to be here with you. that film, wasn't that film amazing? it was created by restaurant worker who is an amazing videographer and actually told the stories of my book as he saw them, he created that hold production and he saw them every day in a restaurant. i have to confess that actually mean myself, i did not know the things that were portrayed in this video 12 years ago. 12 years ago i was living in new york city, i had just graduated from law school, i was working at a small workers center in long island, new york and was actually organizing factory workers and custodial workers and restaurant workers and every evening i would come to manhattan or brooklyn where i lived and i would enjoy the most amazing cuisine new york city
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has to offer. i would eat great asian fusion food, vegetarian, vegan, raw food, try anything and everything. as a new yorker sometimes you eat out three times the day and i would do that. i have to admit that in all those years of eating out prior to 12 years ago i cannot actually describe to you one person who touched my food, one person who cooked it, one person who brought it to the table. those people were invisible to me and i would argue that is true for most americans and americans eat out as americans more frequently than anybody else on earth and it isn't just the frequency with which we eat out, it is those moments we actually eat out in. we tend to celebrate our most amazing life moments in restaurants, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, special meetings we are having.
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i was proposed to in a restaurant. i bet most people in this room can recall some very special wonderful intimate moment in a restaurant. most of us cannot recall in those special wonderful intimate moments the people who touched our food. they have been invisible to us and i would argue that is very purposeful. that was me. i knew nothing. i saw nothing 12 years ago and 12 years ago, 9/11 happened and on september 11th, 2001, in new york city there was actually a restaurant at the top of the world trade center tower 1, on the 107st floor, above the clouds and certainly above where the plane had that morning. 73 workers died that morning in a restaurant either jumping to their deaths or were incinerated inside the restaurant and 13,000 restaurant workers lost their jobs. that restaurant was unique, very unique because it had a union
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inside of it. less than 0.001% of workers in america unionized. this very unique restaurants with a very small union inside of it, the union called me and called one of the head waiters on windows on the world and asked us to start a relief center in the aftermath of the tragedy. we call that rock, the restaurant opportunity center. what started as a little relief center pose 9/11 has grown into a national restaurant workers' organization with 10,000 restaurant worker members in 32 cities across the country. lawyers providing good restaurant conditions range from a celebrity chef, great employer, all the way to small mom-and-pop restaurants who are trying to do the right thing by their workers and also organize
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several thousand consumer members. we have won some things over the last 12 years. we have won 15 campaigns against very large high-profile restaurant companies where we have won eat million dollars in stolen tips and wages and much more important to was the money has been the policy changes we have won. we won raises and benefits and promotions, paid sick days, job security and grievance procedures, we have won better things for workers, better policies for workers in large restaurant companies that are setting the standard in their local region. we have opened our own worker owned restaurant. the restaurant that was in that video is our restaurants, a worker owned restaurant. that is not how we treat our workers. that was staged. we opened descendant such restaurant in detroit, michigan and inside those restaurants we created a training program that now trains a thousand workers a year to move up the ladder to
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livable wage jobs. we have done a ton of research on the industry and we have won some policy victories. we made it illegal in the city of philadelphia to deduct credit card processing fees from workers' tips which unfortunately is legal everywhere else which is why we encourage you to leave your tips in cash rather than on a credit card. we raise the wage in new york state from tipped workers, the most incredible part of the last 12 years has been getting ready to know the stories of thousands and thousands of restaurant workers, some of whose stories i tell in the book and to learn all of the things i never knew that were happening behind the kitchen door. when i came to new york i was told you should tip about 20%. that is what most good new yorkers do, to 20% so i did. ..
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that represents the interests of the fortune 500 restaurant companies in america. as the head of the nra herman cain struck a deal with congress >> as long as the minimum wage for tipped workers stayed frozen forever. and so it has been stuck at the federal level at $2.13 an hour for the last 22 years. now, it's a little bit better here in maryland at $3.63, but it is nothing the live on
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anywhere. and it is because of the power of this industry that has, essentially, struck a deal that says we should not have to pay our workers' wages. you, customers, you should pay our workers' wages for us. something i didn't know. i few something about health and safety in restaurants. i grew up in l.a., and in l.a. they actually put letter grades in restaurant windows to tell you about the sanitation of the restaurant. i thought i knew something about san -- san station. i had no idea that 90% of restaurant workers in america don't have paid sick days, which means two-thirds report cooking, preparing and serving our meals when they are sick with true stories from my book, h1n1, better known as swine flu or pink eye or hepatitis a or typhoid fever. all true stories of real people i can introduce you too. in fact, the centers for disease control reports that 50-90% of
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all norovirus outbreaks, the winter stomach flu, 50-90% of all outbreaks can be traced back to sick p restaurant workers. i thought i knew something about competition in restaurants. we've all seen the shows "top chef," "iron chef," you know, it's gotten out of control on the food network and on bravo. a lot of us watch these shows. i had no idea that for the vast majority of workers in this industry, getting to even a livable wage job is a matter of their skin color or their gender. there are right now over ten million restaurant workers in america, actually 1 in 12 americans right now works in the restaurant industry. it is one of the only industries to grow over the last couple of years of economic crisis rather than decline. unfortunately, it holds another accolade, it is the absolute lowest paying employer in the united states. seven of the eleven
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lowest-paying jobs this the united states, and the two absolute lowest paying jobs in the u.s., lower than farm worker jobs, lower than any other job you might think of as a low paying job, the two absolute lowest paying jobs in america are the people who serve and touch our food. and it is entirely due to the power of a industry lobby called the national restaurant association that decade after decade has said we should not have to pay our workers' wages. in fact, we suffer from uniquely thin profit margins, so we should be able to pay the lowest wages this america. in network. in fact, this industry enjoys a 4-5% profit margin nationally which may sound small until you know that walmart, which is generally considered to be one of the most profitable companies in the world, has a 1% profit margin. can means that -- which means that the restaurant industry, the absolute lowest paying
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employer in the u.s., enjoys four to five times the profit margin of the largest corporation in the world. they're doing quite well. but as they've p continued to grow, wages have stagnated in this industry. workers are struggling with no be paid sick days. and who are we talking about exactly? when i say workers in this industry earn a tipped minimum wage of 2.13 or 3.63, anywhere between $2 and $4 around the country, 70% of workers who earn that tip minimum wage are women. women who work at the ihop and the applebee's and the olive garden and the red lopster and denny's -- lobster. the industry likes to say nobody's earning $2.13, these are wealthy steakhouse servers rolling in tips, and they paint the picture of a tall white man who shouldn't be paid anymore because he's getting a lot of
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money. when, in fact, 70% of these workers are women. and they work at these restaurants, and they suffer from three times the poverty rate of the rest of the u.s. work force. and they use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the work force which means the women who put food on our tables cannot afford to eat themselves. one of the stories in my book is a woman named claudia munoz, an immigrant from mexico who ended up becoming a real leader in my organization, ro to c. and when she was in graduate school in houston, texas, she worked at the ihop earning $2.13 an hour. now, the law says that restaurants are supposed to make sure that tips make up the difference between that tip minimum wage of 2.13 and the regular minimum wage of 7.25. the u.s. department of labor reports an 84% violation rate with regard to employers actually making up that
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difference. and, in fact, in claudia's case, the ihop, mega corporate that it is and even though it is legal, said to claudia we don't want to have to be held liable for making sure that tips make up that difference, so we're going to report that you're earning $7.25 regardless of what you actually earn. which means claudia was taxed at 7.25, and like most tipped workers, received a pay stub every week that said this is not a paycheck. and it says zero. because when you earn 2.13 or 3.63 as any tipped worker will know, your wages are so low, they go entirely to taxes, and you live off of your tips. and claudia lived off of her tips which were sometimes $5 an hour, sometimes $4 an hour, sometimes zero dollars an hour when she was doing side work or the restaurant was slow. and claudia was hungry. she said i'm ashamed to admit it, but i would wait to get to
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the restaurant to eat pancakes because i couldn't afford to eat. and like the other women who were serving alongside me, we would wait, and we would flirt with the management or the cooks to get extra food to eat because we were so hungry. one night claudia worked a full night's shift at the ihop in houston, texas, and at the end of the meal, a couple walked out -- at the end of the night, i'm sorry, a couple walked out without paying the bill. now, the ihop, mega corporation that it is and even though it is illegal, said to claudia we don't want to be held -- you know, you have to be held liable for that bill which actually was $20 more than all the tips claudia had earned that entire night which meant that claudia ended up paying $20 for the luxury of having worked a full night's shift at the ihop in houston, texas. and i cannot tell you how many times i have heard that same story. i will bet there are people in this audience who can tell that same story.
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in fact, i've spoken in large audiences where state legislators get up and say that used to happen to me. all growing up the bar would make me pay for restaurants -- for customers walking out without paying the bill. i can't tell you how many people have told me that experience because the restaurant industry's ten million people. it is so many of us. it is many of us in this room, it is our friends, it is our family members, it is our sisters, our brothers, our mothers. it is so many people who actually work for the legislators who are making the deals with the nra to insure that these workers are the lowest paid workers in america. and the industry says it's okay, because these are young people moving on to something better. which i find hilarious because, essentially, the industry is saying everything else out there is better than us, right? that's essentially what they're saying. the truth is that 60% of restaurant workers are over the age 24, and the median age is in
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the late 30s. one in four restaurant workers are parents, one in ten are single mothers. these are mostly adults with families, with children trying to survive off of tips or the measly minimum wage that you get in the back of the house. these women and men are trying to put food on their families' tables, and the majority of them are actually not trying to move on to something else. the majority are actually professionals who take great pride in food service and hospitality, who want to be treated as the professionals that they are. another story in my book, chang, imgrant from korea, actually was a very highly intelligent person, went to university of california at berkeley. he -- they grew up in california. went to uc berkeley which is a pretty hard school to get into. got an engineering degree and graduated with honors.
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with an engineering degree. but he knew in his heart that his passion was in food and food service and hospitality, and so he decided to become a bartender in a fine dining restaurant this california. in california. now, in california there's no difference between the wage for tipped workers and nontipped workers. everybody gets the same wage of $8 an hour. actually, we were part of a coalition that just raised it to $10 an hour. and california is the largest and fastest growing restaurant industry in the united states. in fact, it has the city with the large restaurant industry in the u.s., los angeles, which has a larger restaurant industry than new york city. it is thriving. in fact, there are seven states in the united states that have the same wage for tipped and nontipped workers. five of those seven states have faster restaurant industry growth rates than the restaurant industry growth rate nationally.
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so the argument that raising this wage from 2.13 to the regular minimum wage, paying tipped work withers a stable base wage would kill the industry just doesn't pan out. if you were to come back with me, i live in oakland, come back with me to california and see the most vibrant restaurant industry you'll ever see. or come to san francisco where you have the highest minimum wage in the united states of $10.55, and you cannot trip without running into a restaurant. the city, industry is thriving. so the argument that raising these wages would kill the industry just doesn't hold true. and, in fact, in chang's case, he was doing quite well. earning a base wage, earning tips as a bartender in a fine dining restaurant. decided he wanted to be in the center of it all, actually work in our nation's capital, serve our country, serve congress members and senators, decided to move to washington, d.c., got a job at a restaurant serving congress members, senator,
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people prosecute white house and earning the district of columbia tip minimum wage of $2.77. now, when you earn $2.77 an hour, you live off of your tips. and if you get sick, guess what? you still have the go to work to get those tips. there's no way to get tipped if you're living off tips by staying at home sick. so you will go to work when you're sick. especially because in washington, d.c. in 2008 paid sick days legislation was passed. but in yet another one of those back door deals, the national restaurant association and the local restaurant association managed to sneak into the bill at the very last minute an exemption for tipped workers, which means in our nation's capital everybody has paid sick days except the people who touch your food. so chang was one of these tipped workers in washington, d.c. earning $2.77 an hour, no paid sick days. one day he's working at this
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posh, fine dining restaurant, starts to feel a little woozy. next day he's feeling dizzy, he can barely stand. he finds himself actually not being able to see things very well. third day he's barely able to stand on his feet, but he's got to keep coming to work. a few more days like that before one day he can't even get out of bed. and he spends a month coming this and out of a coma before he says to himself i don't have health care, i, of course, don't have paid sick days, but i think i need to find out what this is before it kills me. so he decides to go find be a doctor who will take mercy on him and maybe see him for free be, and he decides maybe there's a doctor in korea town in washington, d.c. who will see me for free. and he's right. he finds a doctor who actually sees him for free and tells him that he has h1n1, better known as swine flu. he suffers another month like this in bed, goes into $10,000
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in credit card debt before he finally feels better, and he calls the posh restaurant and says he's ready to come back, and they say, sorry, we've replaced you. and he says, you know, i was young, i had an education, i was able to find another restaurant job fairly quickly. i worked my way over many years out of $10,000 in the credit card debt, but i always think about the workers that i infected at that restaurant, people with families, people with children, some immigrants for whom $10,000 in debt would have completely wiped them out. what about the customers? how many customers would i have infected with the swine flu? i'll never know. i'll never know because it was not important enough to that restaurant or, frankly, to this industry to insure that the people who are serving us are not sick themselves.
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in fact, the world's largest restaurant corporation is darden, a company which is the world's largest full service restaurant company that many people have never heard of. darden owns olive garden, red lobster, longhorn steakhouse, seasons 52, bahamas breeze, yard house eddie vs and so many other brands i can't even list them. and back in 2011 darden announced a partnership with michelle obama and her let's move campaign saying that they were going to provide healthy food for kids at the olive garden. well, the same moment they made that announcement with michelle obama, a server in a fayetteville, north carolina, olive garden was forced to work with hepatitis a because she didn't have paid sick days. and 3,000 people had to get tested for hep a, forced by the local health department, filed a consumer class action against the restaurant and won.
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and that same year there were two nor provirus -- norovirus outbreaks, the winter stomach flu, there were two outwreaks in olive gardens, one in indiana and one in illinois. and i ask you, how healthy can the food be for your kids if you are going to expose them to hepatitis a and stomach flu? it can't be that healthy. not just for you and your family, but for the workers, for their coworkers, even for the employers. this is a public health disaster, and it is certainly a moral disaster. that people are living off their tips to the point where they cannot afford to do newing except work -- anything except work all the time. fortunately, there's good news on the way. after many years of fighting together with coalition partners, there is finally a bill in congress that would raise that abysmally low minimum wage of $2.13 an hour. it is called the fair minimum
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wage act of 2013. and it would raise the regular minimum wage for all workers to $10, and it would raise the tip minimum wage for the first time in two decades to 70% of that or $7. and is it would continue to rise with the cost of living. it's a great, big deal for us because it was the first time that leadership this the house and the senate introduced a bill that would overcome the legacy of herman cain and yet when it was introduced, congress members said to us to overcome the power of the other nra, we are going to see a groundswell of public support. which is ridiculous, because this issue polls 71% in favor among republicans and democrats alike. so who exactly is congress listening to if not all of their constituents? they've been listening to the national restaurant association. so this bill has a chance if we can demonstrate a groundswell of public support, and we've
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thought about that. where had we seen a groundswell in this industry and, in fact, we had seen one about five years ago or so. eric. >> lotser's book, fast food nation, came out, and we saw a sea change in our industry. consumer demand leading to people asking, is this local, is this organic, and restaurants jumping over themselves to say i provide locally-sourceed orr begannic cuisine whether or not they did. and we believe that same kind of consumer demand can change this industry. so we are asking for three things from everybody who eats out, who has a conscious, who eats at all. the first thing is to read the book. the book with is our fast food nation, it is our way to educate consumers and let them know what is happening behind the kitchen door. we are asking that you spread the word and tell people to buy the book, read it. danny glover's movie company has
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created a series of short film portraits based on the workers profiled in the book that you can watch. there's a lot that we can do and, actually, you can find the web site at, or you can donate to the association that is lifting up their voices. so that's number one. buy the book, support the organization. number two is to actually go to the new consumer web site that we've created to collect collectivize the voices of people who eat out who also want to say enough is enough. it's called the welcome and already over 100,000 consumers have signed a petition asking congress to raise that abysmally low wage. also on that web site you can find a guide that we've created that paul mentioned and a smartphone app that you can download for free on your smartphone called the roc
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national diners' guide that tells you how the restaurants around you are faring on issues of wages and benefits and promotions. but the third and most important thing you can do and, you know, often sometimes when i make these talks, actually it happened today. i spoke in washington, d.c., and i heard somebody say, gosh, i should just tip better. and i always say that's great, leads do tip well when you eat out. but that cannot be all that you do. because if that's all that we all do, we continue to subsidize an industry that expects us to pay its workers' wages for it. so besides tipping well, we are asking that at the end of your meal you go up to your manager or the owner and say i loved the food, i loved the service, i would love to see you provide a livable wage, or i would love to see you provide paid sick days. i would love to see you promote from within. i would love to see you create a diverse working environment. i would love to see these
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things, and i am a paying customer, and i want to keep supporting you, but i want to see this change. and if it feels uncomfortable to say something, we've actually -- we have sample tweets in the app, you can just tweet the management, or you can leave a note in your -- on your bill. but it's important that we communicate because just as asking for locally-sourced organic potatoes or organic strawberries or wanting to know how our chicken or pork was treated made a change in our industry, so too can these words. and and i'll give you a quick story of how i've done it. when my first daughter, who's now 3, was born, we took her for one of those special, wonderful, intimate moments, a little vacation to a little beach town in california. great locally sourcing, organic vegetarian restaurant. and we were having one of those special, wonderful moments in a restaurant taking pictures of the newborn baby, having a great time. but i happened to notice that all the servers were white and
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all the buskers were la latina. and segregation by race and gender in our industry is actually pretty severe. we've done a number of studies where we've sent pairs, hundreds of pairs of white and people of color ap applicants into fine dining restaurants to see who gets hired as wait staff and bartending positions. white applicants have twice the chance of getting one of these jobs even when the person of color has a better resumé. and we've reported this, and sometimes the response is, well, isn't it just that all these folks can't speak english or they're illegal, and that's why they're not waiters? so we tested that as well. we gave the white applicants an unintelligible european accept and the people of color a very slight accept. and we found out -- accent. for the people of color, any kind of accent was a detractor. so we knew it wasn't accent or
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language. we knew it was race. and that's what i saw in this restaurant. in fact, i encourage you to go to any fine dining restaurant in baltimore or d.c. or in the region and look at who are the servers, who are the buskers, who's in the kitchen. i saw this, we paid, i went up to the manager, i said i love the food, i love the service, but i happened to notice that all the servers are white. what kind of training and promotion opportunities have you offered these women? i think they'd be great servers. and he said, well, i don't think any of them want to be servers. none of them have ever asked me to be a server. [laughter] which, you know, i thought about. you know, that might be true. if you've never seen anything who looks like you in a server position, why would you ask for a promotion? so i said i appreciate that, but i've got to say it's important to me as a paying customer to see that people have the
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opportunity to advance. i think these women would be great servers. and, gosh, is it important to me as a new mother that my little daughter, who's brown, grows up seeing people of every skin color in every position in a restaurant so she knows she can do whatever she wants when she grows up. and it isn't that i thought that my one comment was going to change that restaurant forever, but i do think in the same way that restaurant had become a locally-sourcing organic restaurant over the last decade because of consumer demand, that if another half a dozen people had said something over the next couple months, you better believe that restaurant would have done something about it. so that is why we are asking for this change, for this intervention which we need now so desperately. this industry impacts so many millions of workers, so many hundreds of millions of family members of those workers and, frankly, our entire economy and our health. it impacts these workers, it even impacts these employers who
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experience a 300 turnover rate because workers are moving constantly from job to job because they cannot support themselves or their families on these wages. and it also impacts every single one of us who eats out. thank you. [applause] e out. dude eats out. [applause] i think we actually have 13 minutes to answer questions so do you want to say a minute and i do have time for questions. >> i will try to talk for just a little bit. i just want to tell you something about what i have observed in the restaurant industry in baltimore and one restaurant in particular which i won't name. i would like to be able to name it that it's probably better not
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to name it at this point. and the library asked me not to, so i won't. this is a restaurant that does really massively steel wages. in the case of servers, they virtually don't pay the servers at all. they take the attitude at the servers work for themselves and they have to pay them a little bit of course but they pay them far fewer hours than the hours actually worked and in a number of cases similar things happen. they don't pay overtime overtime. another case reported to me. i didn't observe it personally but it was reported in a reliable way of a person who worked 12 hour days, 14 days in a row with no days off and had a hard time getting 40 hour weeks. this restaurant also gets gives no benefits of any kind. they can do a few nice things for you when you come in, give you free food that benefits in the sense of things that are going to take care of you as you move through life or if something happens to you, you get nothing. if you are not working you have
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no money coming in. well let's just suppose just analytically that something happens. you have a illness and you are disabled and you can't work, what are you going to rely on? in the first instance you will have to rely on social security safety net programs. social security disability and there are others. i'm trying to talk fast. well, guess what? all of these programs are tied to wages. so, when the restaurant steals your wages as it is it's also stealing your benefits in the same act. this is a point not very well understood by the people who work in this restaurant or people who work in some other restaurant and incidentally this restaurant never talks about what the wage laws are. i said i would give you an analytical summary remark about this restaurant and i have. now i want to say this is a
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situation that has really occurred. a person who worked in this restaurant became ill and was unable to continue to work, had no wages coming in, no benefits of any kind coming in from the restaurant found she was unable to live on the social security benefits that she was able to get. she was reduced to poverty. it was not a tragic story. she is not living in the street but it's a very disturbing story and it's going to happen again. the people who work in the restaurant are middle-aged people. saru alluded to this. they are often the main wage earner for their family and the main source of benefits for their family. this is going to happen again. this is a human consequence of restaurant practices that exist in baltimore. thanks and i will turn it back to saru.
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[applause] >> i wanted to open it up for questions and comments. >> thanks for your good book. i understand the -- which is the highest job are also paid much less than they should read. you know they have to buy their own gas and so on so i was wondering whether you paid attention to that? >> you mean delivery workers? delivery workers obviously don't just work for pizza restaurants. they work for all different kinds of restaurants and they actually can also be paid a sub
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minimum wage. not $2.13 cents. it's $4.65 for delivery workers. they experience all kinds of exposure to violence, health and safety issues so we actually in new york at a special study of delivery workers in particular and we found that there was a rate of about one to two near deaths or deaths each year among delivery workers and not just traffic accidents but being staffed, having to go to all different kinds of places and facing all different kinds of violence, being robbed, being assaulted and not being actually in any way supported, reimbursed or help either employer. actually it's an important component of the industry. >> also today talking moon said we should all fight poverty. so poverty has been rising in america. things of this nature will
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definitely contribute to more poverty and the restaurant industry is producing an annual revenue of nearly $700 billion which is not a small sum. >> they do quite well. >> hi. i am allen with working newsletter and a proud union member. i want to salute the restaurant workers that have been going on strike. i've heard it's now 58 cities and i think a lot of people don't understand that they are really at the cutting eggs -- edge of the labor movement and they are fighting for all workers even if they don't realize it. they're teaching us things that are national union leaders choose to forget that strikes work. i am wondering in addition to the demands for raising the minimum wage up to $15 and i've heard in some cases which is what we really need, nobody should resist raising to $10 if these laws get passed.
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are they making other demands? for example people's organization for progress is holding a conference in new jersey on october 19 and looking at issues like the minimum wage but also calling for jobs for all. i think you know if we have jobs available for everybody we would have job security and we would be able to fight for higher wages that way as well. are there any other demands that i haven't heard about on the news other than the minimum wage increases? >> yeah so subtwelve does not run the fast food worker sites. we have been supportive. it's definitely an ally and we support obviously restaurant worker standing up. i totally agree with you that these workers have surprised everybody, have surprised the union that organized them to stand up, surprised them in their force and willingness to come out in the issues they presented.
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in many cities across the country you do have committees of fast food workers in various localities fighting for issues like store level issues like not stealing out of the tip jar or uniform related issues. a lot of restaurant workers are forced to pay for the uniform which is actually illegal or being forced to work in extremely hot or unhealthy or unsafe conditions. definitely these workers have formed committees across the country and they are taking on these store level issues and their national claim is $15 an hour but they are also asking for the right to organize a union. it isn't just that one demand. the theories from city to city. that demand is the only demand that unifies that campaign across the country. >> yes, i haven't had a chance to read your book yet and i will bite after the talk i was
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wondering a couple of things. is there a way to get on a contact list? i was trying to find the web site and i really wasn't successful in that. >> definitely. thank you for asking the question. do we have a sign-up sheet today please put your e-mail down. we can send you updates and information and the two web sites you should check out our roc and the welcome where you can sign this petition to raise the wage. on roc united you'll find everything we have ever done related to a wide range of issues from wages to raise an agenda to paid sick days. >> i guess my question was you mentioned the success in california and i was wondering your thoughts on how that could be spread to maryland and other
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places and also the national legislation, if you could talk about that. >> california like i said decided to raise its wages to $10 an hour for the entire state for tipton on tipped workers alike. there was a bill moving through the state of maryland that would raise the wage here as well, not with parity between tip to nontipped workers. it will be coming back very soon in maryland in the state legislature and my hope is that not only will the tipped minimum minimum wage be increased and pegged to the overall wage of 70% but actually now a number of states and localities that are part of our movement around the country are demanding to get rid of this ridiculous lower tipped minimum wage altogether and saying look, no worker should receive less than the minimum wage. so that is actually a growing movement around the country but
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here in the state of maryland there will be legislation soon that will be going to the state legislatulegislatu reto raise both the regular and the tipped minimum wage. what we need everybody here to do is maryland residence is to call on your state legislators to make sure that tipped workers are not left out in the last minute closed-door deal that occurs all the time. it just happened in new york state. the minimum wage just wage just one of the wage just went up and it just happened in connecticut in d.c.. we cannot let that happen anymore. >> how do you do? i went to a restaurant along time ago and the waitress told me something about tipping which i didn't know anything about. part of her tip has to go to the cook. i did not know that. then she told me that the cook would make it hard on her if she didn't come up with some money.
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that's all i have to say. >> well it's true that tipped workers do have to share their tips and they should not be sharing them with cooks. they should only be sharing them with other service workers which include runners and busters and bartenders. when tipped workers are asked to share tips with what they call the back of the house cooks crêpes and dishwashers or management that is illegal and according to u.s. federal law if that happens the restaurant worker can actually be paid back the difference between the tipped in regular minimum wage for every hour that person has worked in the restaurant. any inappropriate sharing of tips breaks down the entire system in the restaurant and allows workers to sue for all of that money that they have lost between the tipped in regular minimum wage. >> my concern is this.
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when you go into work in a restaurant you don't have a contract. when you go into a restaurant you sign. you are not a contract shall worker. you don't have to show cause at any given time. this is a one day off. you don't show up, you work 10 or 25 years. this is baltimore. the same people. just change the numbers. if you don't have a contract then you can't show cause, right?
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you don't have a contract. if you don't have a contract you are -- at will. you don't have a to show cause to fire you. i think in america that's the case. >> if you don't have a union it's true, you can be fired at will. you do have the right to organize always. you do have the right to organize. i'm sorry, i answer your question? it's okay. i understand. there are other people waiting to ask questions. thank you. you do have the right to organize, and you do have the right even without a union to actually be able to speak up against conditions on the job together with your co-workers and not he retaliated against. we have actually gotten workers
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reinstated or we have gotten them -- we have fought against retaliation and one because they came together and stood up with their co-workers even without a union instead we demand change. we demand a higher wage. you don't actually need a union to have that detection. >> contracts. if you have a contract someone says i work for you and otherwise it's -- [inaudible] >> thanks. >> which is going to say, i worked in -- and this was 83 i think it was. there was a the muffin oven and the potato oven, the plate warming oven and the steam table and they would not allow the backdoor to be opened because they were worried about theft. i really started feeling like i was going to faint. i thought you now, the floor is style and there's a sharp edge
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on the table. i would rather sit down rather than waiting until i fall. the guy was like, get back to work. it came to a point where i thought it was going to faint again so i sat down a second time and he fired me. i thought well, two days later i showed up when i was supposed to work and i thought i would try that just to show up. he was like don't you understand, you were fired? a month later i went back to collect my last paycheck and all the sallet girls which is seven people were all different. the second story, i worked at the pizza hut and again i believe it was actually 20 years ago or maybe more. they forced you to do jobs like washdown things in the kitchen. even the baseboards washing them with beach -- leach solution. basically instead of paying the
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cook's minimum wage they made the waitresses do that kind of stuff. obviously we were getting no tips at that time. those are my stories. the harassment is too embarrassing. [applause] >> some of my questions just got answer but i was curious what happens if you're an individual worker into about violations and confront your ask lex i imagine there is fear of consequences because they might say well we will hire someone who will do it creates be absolutely so that is why we don't recommend doing it alone. we recommend joining an organization like roc to join together with co-workers who can say these things. you're not protected on your own. you are protected when you get together with other lands say enough is enough sewing courage it >> we've actually created a web site called where anybody who's worked in the industry which may be most people here can share your stories of what it's like to
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live off of tips. and celebrities are also sharing their stories on that web site of their experiences living off of tips, and anybody can. so we really invite and encourage the stories like we've heard today. thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching booktv, nonfiction authors and books every weekend on c span 2. -- c-span2. >> a few weeks left in 2013, many publications are putting out their year-end lists of notable books. these titles were included in the economist's books of the year. amity. >> laze recounts the tenure of america's president, "coolidge." ian buruma in "year zero: a
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history of 1945." in "margaret thatcher: the authorized biography," charles moore, a reporter for "the telegraph" recounts the late prime minister's personal life and early career. in "my promised land: the triumph and tragedy of israel," arishavit presents a history of israel. margaret macmillan recalls the events that led to world war i in europe in "the war that ended peace: the road to 1914." in "lean in: women, work and the will to lead," sheryl sandberg, the chief operating officer at facebook, gives her thoughts on women and leadership. for an extended list and links to various other publications' 2013 notable book selections, visit booktv's web site,
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>> the world is on fire, and things are moving extremely fast. my education expires after five to ten years in computer science. five to ten years and everything is new. the cloud is new, twitter is new, google is new. new programming languages. his tohistorically, what we've s we've sliced human life into, basically, four slices, five slices. one is a play phase, a learn phase the next 20 year, a work phase and a resting phase afterwards and then eventually dying. what i think we should be doing is have them all at the same time. we should play, we should learn, work and rest at the same time. because the world moves so fast today, we can't really afford having a single cell of education anymore. we have to stay up-to-date. >> new year's day on c-span, just before 1 p.m. eastern and throughout the afternoon, ceos of udacity, twitter and others on the future of higher education, robotics and dataas


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