Restaurant Workers Sing, Dance, and Demand a Higher Minimum Wage


A new video posted earlier this week to YouTube shows cooks, servers, and dishwashers all over New York City singing and dancing to Barrett Strong’s “Money” as they demand a $9 minimum wage.

The video is cute, but it also brings attention to one of the most overlooked issues in the food industry: Unlivable wages. The minimum wage in New York is just $7.25, and for those working with tips, it’s only $5. “Not all of us work in $30-plate restaurants and bring home $400 a night in tips,” says Brenda McLean, a 31-year-old server in New York, “Most of us are just getting by.”

Tim Murphy and Jonah Green, freelance writers who worked together previously at New York magazine, made the video for Restaurant Opportunities Center United and Strong for All. The duo filmed workers lip-synching into pepper mills at La Palapa, Bogota Latin Bistro, Crema, and the employee-owned cooperative, Colors.

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