By posting a video of how her minuscule paycheck, a Texas bartender on TikTok showed the importance of raising wages for service industry professionals. The video went viral and was reposted all over Twitter.
Aaliyah Cortez uploaded a video of her paycheck, then broke the information on the stub down for viewers, including various taxes.
“So, this is why you should always tip your bartenders and servers, anyone who waits on you or provides a service for you,” she said.
She shows she had worked 70 hours that week and was being paid $2.13 an hour. After federal taxes, social security, and Medicare, the payout was $9.28.
“For 70 hours of work,” she stressed. “Of course, I got tips, but this is what I got for my hourly.”
Cortez’s paycheck post has received more than 900,000 views, 107,000 likes, and 3,000 comments.
In a follow-up video, she answered some critics in her comments, she did not have any qualms with her vocation and that her gripe was more about Texas state laws.
“I like my job; bartending, serving is fun,” she says. “However, I don’t agree with the state laws that allow restaurants to pay under minimum wage and expect the customer to pay our wages.”
Some folks on Twitter began arguing that tipping is a privilege, not a necessity, and that seeing as she makes much of her money from tips, the $9 paycheck isn’t as ridiculous as it might first appear.
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and numerous other politicians and think tanks have long vouched for the notion of raising the minimum wage, specifically from within the service industry.
The Economic Policy Institute wrote, from the lens of race: “Low wages hurt all workers and are particularly harmful to Black workers and other workers of color, especially women of color, who make up a disproportionate share of workers who are severely underpaid.
“This is the result of structural racism and sexism, with an economic system rooted in chattel slavery in which workers of color—and especially women of color—have been and continue to be shunted into the most underpaid jobs.”