The minimum wage for tipped workers in Michigan is $3.67. Starting in January 2021, that will go up to $3.75.
And the federal minimum wage for restaurant servers and bartenders is currently $2.31 an hour.
“Workers are depending on your tips just to make their minimum wage.” — Abby Ginzberg, documentary filmmaker
The low wages of tipped workers in Michigan and in other states is the focus of the documentary “Waging Change,” which is part of the 7th annual Freep Film Festival happening now through December 6th.
Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, “Waging Change” follows service industry workers in Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans to share their experiences and struggles to make ends meet.
What’s changed for tipped workers in the past 5 years? Listen to the full conversation with Abby Ginzberg, director of “Waging Change.”
The documentary also follows the work of activists to raise the wage for tipped workers as well as efforts to reduce sexual harassment in workplaces in bars and restaurants, where 70% of the workforce is women.
“People assume if there is something called the minimum wage, everyone is getting it. The situation with tipped workers has always been an outlier,” says Ginzberg. Since the pandemic, “there’s been a renewed focus on the restaurant industry… and increased consciousness about how vulnerable workers in restaurants actually are.