E-mail letters, Feb. 10, 2011

Contents of fracking fluid should be known

This is in reference to the ongoing controversy about the refusal of the drilling companies to provide a list of the chemicals and ingredients that make up the fracking solutions.

It seems that all companies that manufacture, use or sell products that might affect the health or welfare of the citizens must list all of the substances that are in the products and warn of any harmful effects from its use. The drilling companies have been exempted from these requirements as regards their fracking fluids. The question is why?

The excuse by the drilling companies that the fluids are proprietary and could affect competition is not valid because a lot of other companies have the same problem but still have to list the substances they use. Their contention that the fracking fluid has never been proven to contaminate water or food sources is also not valid because it has never been proven that it doesn’t.

State Rep. Roger Wilson has introduced a bill that would require the disclosure of the substances in fracking fluids and every citizen should contact their representative and instruct them to support this bill.

GARRY EVENSON
LARRY SODERBERG
Battlement Mesa


Restaurants should just raise prices

I continue to be amazed by the misinformation restaurant servers set forth regarding how little money they make, and how they rely on tips to survive, in an attempt to make people feel sorry for them.

First off, let me say that I am not against tipping itself. I am against compulsory tipping. Tips are gratuities. They are a reward for going above and a beyond. Simply taking my order, bringing my food and refilling my drink is not going above and beyond. That is your job and you are paid a wage to do it.

Yes, I know, I’ve heard them all say that their wage is only $4.26 an hour in this state, and that they rely on the tips make up the difference. Well, guess what? Federal wage law requires that if their hourly wage plus tips do not equal the regular federal minimum wage of $7.25, then the employer must make up the difference. So in reality they are not making less than minimum wage.

Additionally, since most servers don’t claim 100 percent of their tips, they get the extra cash that their employer is forced to make up. And if the employer is not paying that difference, and they really are only making $4.26 an hour, then the employers are breaking federal law.

The thing is, however, that usually their tips do add up to way more than the regular minimum wage. They only have to make an extra $2.99 in tips every hour to make up the difference, and most of them make two or three times that in an hour worth of tips. That is why they choose to be a restaurant server.

Yes, it is a hard thankless job and who would want to put up with whiny, selfish, demanding diners? Yet no one has forced any of them to work in that industry. Don’t tell me that it’s the only job they can get. Admit it, they do it for the tips. If it weren’t for the tips most of them wouldn’t do it.

Fast food workers and retail store employees put up with just as much as servers do. No one tips them. Why should a tip be expected? Why should I be extorted? Tip me or next time I’ll give you bad service. And that goes for any other job where tips are common, from hair stylists to manicurists. They are paid a wage to do a job. If I don’t feel that they did more than their job entails then why should I have to pay them extra? It is not my responsibility to give them more money just because the government has told their employer that they can pay them less just because they make tips.

They should take that up with their boss and congressman or senator. Or, if they want more money, then put it in the price and charge more. A 15 percent tip added to the bill, or raising the prices 15 percent results in the same price. I mean I’m already expected to pay it, so it’s not like raising the price will keep me away. It really is that simple. And in the end I don’t feel extorted.

JEREMIAH HABECKER
Grand Junction

 



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