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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Minimum wage: If tips are counted as wages, why not tip everyone?

Much to my surprise, I discovered through The Seattle Times that I have been paying tip workers parts of their salaries [“The ‘theoretical’ and ‘practical’ of a Seattle $15 minimum wage law on tipping,” Opinion Northwest, March 28].

I always thought when I tipped a hardworking waiter, waitress, bellhop, barber, that I was giving him or more often her a gift in recognition of good service. Now, I understand consideration is being made to deny tip workers an increase in minimum wage, and instead to count tips as income. This is contrary to present state law, which includes tip workers fully in our minimum wage.

But maybe they have something there. Why not tip all low-wage workers? Why burden Wal-Mart with having to pay livable wages? Next time you buy those low-cost groceries, toys and clothes, tip that clerk 15 percent of your purchase; when you buy that fast-food hamburger, be sure to go back to the kitchen and tip those cooks; when you drop your child off at day care, tip that hardworking child-care worker; when you bring your older child to school, tip that teacher’s aide, and don’t forget to tip the janitor; each time a nurses aide or chore worker changes your bedpan, give them some of the dollar bills you stash near your bed; when you drive by the park, stop and give the gardeners a few bucks; go to a movie, add a tip to the ticket price.

If we all tip low-wage workers, then we would not have to bother with government interference, or force companies to honor their employees with decent wages. And we wouldn’t have to deal with higher prices — except of course the added 15 percent we provide in tips on everything we buy.

David Rader, Seattle

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: David Rader, low-wage workers, Minimum Wage

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