Depending on their reputations, restaurant chefs can make a lot of money. But according to salary estimates from Indeed, the average salary earned by Denver restaurant chefs is $17.43 an hour.
We’re talking about actual restaurants, not the cooks who produce airline food, like some of the folks at DIA who believe the cuisine they prepare should earn them $15 an hour.
The free market malcontents are tired of waiting on raises based on their work product, and now want a law passed to raise their minimum wage even higher than the state’s $10.20.
What makes them so gosh darn special? According to the Colorado Independent, DIA workers have to drive to work.
And, it’s not just about getting more money, it’s just that more money acknowledges their “dignity” and “contribution to the airport,” say Teresita Felix, a food services worker for United.
The Denver International Airport workers who prepare your in-flight dinners and push your loved ones’ wheelchairs through the terminal don’t, in many cases, earn livable wages.
DIA is the city’s biggest economic driver, and Denver plans to invest more than $3 billion in airport upgrades in coming years. Felix said she has about 40 relatives who also work at DIA, and that they feel left behind amid the growth.
Wait, 40 of her relatives work at DIA? We don’t know about the Felix family, but if we had a job that didn’t pay squat, we wouldn’t get jobs there for the entire family.
We are further confused by a city official who says nearly all of their 1,500 workers there already make close to $15 an hour.
Employees who work for airlines should be taking up their pay issues with the airlines, not Denver taxpayers who will be on the hook for it if a new ballot measure gets enough signatures for the May election.
Felix says she has to live in a house with more than 20 people to make ends meet. If they are her relatives who also work at DIA making the state-mandated minimum wage, that’s about $433,000 for the household.
None of the math rolling out so far in this initiative is adding up. But at this point, we would suggest handing out buttons acknowledging the dignity and contributions made by DIA employees.