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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tends bar at the Queensboro Restaurant. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tends bar at the Queensboro Restaurant. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Shaking it up

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turns bartender for a night to support underpaid tipped workers

By WITW Staff on June 5, 2019

Customers at the Queensboro Restaurant in Queens, New York, got a surprise when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed up to work as a bartender, mixing drinks and serving up pizzas to tables.

The 29-year-old congressional freshman decided to do some bartending in a show of support for the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage for tipped workers.

“The federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour—that is unacceptable!” Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender, told customers at the bar on Friday, adding that this is equivalent to “indentured servitude” and discussing the need to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $15 an hour, according to Mother Jones.

“I was nervous that I may have lost my touch — still got it!” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, along with a video of herself with a shaker behind the bar. Customers got into it, taking selfies and posting videos of themselves with the popular representative.

Ocasio-Cortez has been an avid proponent of initiatives to raise the minimum wage, not only for tipped workers but for all Americans. In February, she took on Ivanka Trump after the first daughter said on Fox News, “I don’t think most Americans in their heart want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get, so I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back on Twitter: “As a person who actually worked for tips & hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it 2nd-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live. A living wage isn’t a gift, it’s a right. Workers are often paid far less than the value they create.”

Read the full story at Mother Jones.


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