Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Serving Dishes in the Big Apple

Time to put some anger back on this page. The NYT reports that a new study shows just how dismal most restaurant industry positions are in the Big Apple (remember that the next time you complain about the high prices):

A new study of New York City's restaurant industry has found that at least 36 percent of its workers are illegal immigrants, that 59 percent of restaurant workers surveyed reported overtime violations, and that 73 percent said they had no health insurance.

The study is scheduled for release today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, an advocacy group for restaurant workers. Assistance with the study was provided by numerous community groups, economists and sociologists.

According to the study, most of the city's more than 165,000 restaurant workers earned less than $20,000 a year and 13 percent reported minimum wage violations. The study also found that 33 percent of the city's restaurant workers reported verbal abuse by their employers and that 19 percent said management illegally took a share of the tips.

"While there are a few 'good' restaurant jobs in the restaurant industry, the majority are 'bad jobs,' characterized by low wages, few benefits and limited opportunities for upward mobility of increased income," the report concluded.

Aren't these the same people who say how good restaurants are for immigrant workers? No wonder the French regulate their industry.

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