How the service industry of New Orleans can learn from the Mexican immigrants of California.
Many of us are aware of the gross pay inequality that exists in the city of New Orleans. Even though New Orleans’ tourist industry is wildly successful, the people who provide that entire experience are ridiculously underpaid.
While the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 is dismal, the service industry’s $2.13 an hour is “3rd world” level painful. Imagine a slow night at a restaurant, where the server and bus boys work 8 hours but only made $5.00 an hour because they got the base $2.13 but barely any tips.
This means a massive portion of the city’s population is NOT guaranteed the FEDERALLY LEGISLATED minimum wage. (which also needs to be raised since it doesn’t grow at the same rate as inflation)
but back to the service industry…
What if they followed the example of the 2006 A Day Without an Immigrant protests in California, in which thousands of immigrants took a stand against their disenfranchised status within a state that relies on their presence in order to maintain its economy.
The power of the many is made of the systems reliance on their presence.
Taking that into consideration, WHAT IF the service industry of New Orleans similarly left the hotels and restaurants without staff? Walking out at either lunch time or peak dinner hour and going onto Canal St, and getting on the street cars, and going home?
Imagine that, and maybe someone reading this will take it serious and make that happen.
Watch the trailer for the film in 2004 that might have inspired the 2006 protest: