Survivors, labor leaders and politicians got here collectively on Saturday afternoon to commemorate the 73 staff of a World Trade Center restaurant who died on 9/11, and to name for improved circumstances within the service business nationwide.
The ceremony was as a lot a rally for employees’ rights as a solemn memorial for individuals who died at Windows on the World, which occupied the highest flooring of the North Tower.
“On 9/11 I lost three precious things,” stated Fekkak Mamdouh, who labored at Windows on the World and is now senior director for One Fair Wage, the advocacy group that hosted the occasion.
“I lost my brothers and sisters that work with me. I lost my sense of security and safety as an Arab Muslim,” he stated, “and I lost a good paying job.”
He and others criticized the $2.13 federal minimal wage for tipped employees — the identical price that existed in 2001 — calling it “subminimum.” (Federal legislation requires that tipped employees obtain no less than $7.25 an hour, however as much as $5.12 of it could actually come from ideas, leaving the employer to pay as little as $2.13.)
“We’ve heard the phrase ‘essential worker’ so often in the last year and a half, and we are truly going to recognize that this work is essential,” stated Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York. “We must do much more than words.”
Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief, echoed that sentiment.
“Coming here gives me strength to keep pushing one fair wage until we get it done in the United States Congress,” Mr. Schumer stated. “When we make your lives better, we make New York better, we make America better.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked the service employees and advocates for “taking your grief and your loss and turning it into this movement,” and urged them to “keep going.”
Mrs. Clinton echoed the decision for improved circumstances for service employees. “Thank you for taking your grief and your loss and turning it into this movement,” she stated.Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
Mr. Mamdouh and different former Windows on the World staff lit 20 candles and learn aloud the names of the colleagues they misplaced.
Tez Termulo Boiz stated she began working at Windows on the World as a school junior and basically grew up there.
“When you hit something like the 20th, it really becomes a much bigger event, and reminding you what you lost,” stated Ms. Boiz, who now works in finance and lives in New Jersey.
She had an much more primary request than a dwelling wage: kindness.
“Don’t deny a tip. Don’t berate your server,” she stated. “Be a decent human. That’s all we ask.”