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Economy Nivel B1


Washington / “It’s about economic freedom” and offers “stability,” Diana Ramírez said exultantly, celebrating the unexpected triumph of “Initiative 77” in Washington’s local elections, which advocates a progressive increase in the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour.

The victory of the “Initiative 77”, with 55% of the votes in favour against 45% against, managed to overcome the opposition of the powerful lobby of the innkeepers and restorers of the city, and even the mayor of the city, the Democrat Muriel Bowser.

As promoter of the movement “Save Our Tips”, Frank Mills, waiter at Jack Rose Salon, predicted that the “impact of the result will feel like an earthquake in a city with about 30,000 workers who charge tips” because the salary increase will rebound in the prices and, consequently, will decrease the tips.

Ramirez, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United group, promoter of the proposal, and Mills are two sides of the legislative battle that marked Tuesday’s primaries in Washington and sparked heated debates in the bars of the city’s bars.

Between rounds of cocktails, and the consequent tips, the industry and its customers waited expectantly for the result of the consultation.

The business of hospitality in USA is largely based on them: a tacit agreement that stipulates that clients will leave at least 15% more than the invoice to compensate the worker, who complements their low base salary thanks to these contributions, free of taxes.

For this reason, Ramírez’s proposal has faced the opposition of hotel businessmen in the US capital and a large part of its workers, who warn that it will be the end of tips, and with them their way of life.

Spanish chef José Andrés, one of the big names in the hospitality industry in the city and owner of almost a dozen establishments, criticized the measure as it treated a “complex subject such as tips based on a yes or no”, without take into account the nuances.

“Many businesses will not be able to support it, if prices go up, there will be fewer customers. If there are fewer clients, there will be less profit, and with that fewer jobs, “Andrés said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The matter now passes to the municipal government of the District of Columbia, where Washington is located, which must decide whether to ratify the initiative and that it could go so far as to reverse it. (June 21, 2018, EFE/Practica Español)

News related in video (July 2015):


Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read and answer the questions)

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Question 1
En la noticia se dice que...    
aún no se ha conseguido que las personas que trabajan en hostelería tengan mejores salarios.
sale adelante una iniciativa para mejorar los salarios de las personas que trabajan en hostelería.
una iniciativa impide que los camareros cobren más dinero por el trabajo que realizan.
Question 2
Según el texto...  
la subida de los salarios será inmediata.
se irá aumentando poco a poco el salario de los trabajadores.
es poco probable que vayan subiendo poco a poco los salarios.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...  
hay personas que piensan que con esta subida salarial tendrán menos propinas.
todo el mundo cree que los camareros tendrán más propinas tras esta subida salarial.
Mills no cree posible que pueda haber una relación entre la subida salarial y la disminución de propinas.
Question 4
Según el texto, las propinas apenas son importantes para un restaurante estadounidense.  
Para nada.
Así es.
No se sabe.
Question 5
El chef José Andrés...  
no cree que la desaparición de las propinas afecte a los negocios.
piensa que si no hay propinas, los negocios se verán muy afectados.
apoya incondicionalmente la eliminación de las propinas.
Question 6
En el vídeo se dice...  
los trabajadores de comida rápida de Nueva York cobrarán más dinero.
los trabajadores de comida seguirán cobrando lo mismo.
se va a reducir el salario de unos trabajadores de comida rápida.
Question 7
Según el vídeo, los trabajadores de comida rápida...  
no están del todo convencidos con esa subida salarial.
aplaudieron esa medida.
están en contra de esa medida.
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