A new report released by the Food Chain Workers Alliance identifies key holes in the food chain service industry, mainly that the salaries earned are not consistent with livable wages. Only 13.5% of the surveyed workers earned livable wages, which is alarming considering the 700 people that were examined. The cruel irony of the situation is that food service workers are more likely than the rest of the U.S. workforce to face uncertainty about being able to afford to eat.
“Most people don’t think about the millions of food system workers who make it possible for us to shop in grocery stores or eat in restaurants,” says Joann Lo, Executive Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. “This report is intended to make these people visible, and serve as a wake-up call for policy makers, employers and consumers to make the entire system more just.”
In addition to the unlivable wages, the report found that there are several other problems facing these individuals including lack of benefits, reliance on public support, poor quality of life, lack of upward mobility, improper safety training and gender or race discrimination.Accordingly, invested minds have tossed around a couple of ideas to combat these issues. Firstly, raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing health benefits will help improve the food service workers’ quality of life. Next, consumers can do their part by identifying employers that are discriminating against or not providing livable wages to their employees. Employers can pitch in by improving hiring procedures and adopt policies such as paid sick days.
Posted by Markus Micheaels