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D.C. voters end substandard tipped minimum wage, again

November 21, 2022 | By: Harriet Jones | People’s World

WASHINGTON—For the second time, District of Columbia residents overwhelmingly voted to phase out the subminimum wage for tipped restaurant employees, with 73.9% in favor.

The ballot measure, Initiative 82, will gradually raise the current tipped minimum wage of $5.35 per hour until it reaches the District’s standard minimum wage of $16.10 by 2027.

The measure, passed Nov. 8, is set to go into law following a 30-day congressional review period, and will tentatively take effect in the spring. And this time, the City Council apparently will not ignore the voters and let it go through. Last time, the city’s corporate class got the council to veto it.

I-82’s passage marks the second time D.C. voters indicated their support for raising the tipped wage. The City Council repealed a similar move, Initiative 77, favored by voters in 2018.

This time around, the measure’s success relied upon a strong network of grassroots organizing to rally worker support in the face of continued strong opposition from business owners and the restaurant lobby. (Read more…)