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Directed by Abby Ginzberg
61 min | 2019 | USA | Not Rated
Waging Change shines a light on an American struggle hidden in plain sight: the women-led movement to end the federal tipped minimum wage for restaurant workers.
The majority of people serving food in U.S. restaurants are paid a federal sub-minimum wage of only $2.13 an hour and are forced to depend on tips to feed themselves and their families. Women, who hold two-thirds of all tip-based jobs, are especially affected. Their reliance on tips leads to pervasive gender discrimination, sexual assault, and sexual harassment at the hands of customers, coworkers, and bosses – and leaves them with very little ability to speak up. In addition, sub-minimum wages are also paid to workers with disabilities, incarcerated workers, and teen workers in most states. Waging Change weaves together the stories of workers struggling to make ends meet with the efforts of Saru Jayaraman and others of One Fair Wage, who faces off against the powerful National Restaurant Association lobby and fights for one fair wage.
Featuring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who have mobilized support for the movement, Waging Change reveals the important role consumers have to play in ending this two-tiered wage system which has already been abolished in seven states.
Official Selection: Doc NYC 2019
“This engaging documentary will whet your political appetite. Join AOC, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and 157 million tipped workers to get a better grip on the ways that sub-minimum wages subsidize the mighty restaurant chains. You’ll learn how to vote with your fork and everything else in your power to fight for changes that the U.S. House of Representatives already supports”
Nancy Folbre Professor Emerita, Economics
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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