Not a bad burger, but is it Fair Trade?

Dateline: Santa Fe, The City Indifferent?

Here’s a story that has not totally been vetted yet, so put it in the category of being a rumor … maybe more like a nasty little secret if it is true … but so far, the information I have gotten from a few different folks at the Roundhouse bears this out.

Yesterday there was an important press conference and rally regarding a state agency empowered to protect employees, instead turning a blind eye to wage theft.

Both the New Mexican and the Journal ran good stories about it in their papers today (and you can read their reports by clicking on their respective names in this sentence).

Santa Fe likes to see itself as a fair place to live, and lecture the world about such things as fair trade.

And in fairness, it is a city that led the way on so-called living wage … although it’s still hard for families making the ‘living wage’ to live in Santa Fe.

But if you are a Roundhouse groupie, as so many of us are, you may be unknowingly benefitting from denying some other folks getting paid what they really deserve.

How many of you dine at the Roundhouse cafeteria – upstairs or downstairs?

Lots of us do.

Well the folks preparing and serving your food work hard.

They are incredibly kind.

And they are a lot of fun to talk to – they make everyone feel good about their day … whether your bill was croaked in committee, or your editor is crawling up your butt to get a story filed.

But here’s the (unfair) deal.  It is my understanding that these fine employees have not seen wages go up for several years … oh, and it seems they mostly (if not all) get paid minimum wage.

No, it’s not wage theft like what is alleged in the lawsuit at the center of the stories in both papers today.

But it does suck.

I was told that Thom Cole did a story several years back, about the food service at the Roundhouse being subsidized to some extent. I also heard that from another reporter a year or so ago.

If it is, well that is not so bad I guess, as long as anyone can partake.

Especially for those citizens who visit with their legislators and are not paid the big bucks so many of the lobbyists get for wining and dining many of those same legislators.

But fair, is fair. So why can’t we all pay a little more to give these folks a bit of a raise for the sixty days (and some long nights) that they work really hard here?

Or why can’t the legislature (my goodness Democrats, you run the House and Senate now) add a little money to the “FEED BILL” and help these folks out?

[Disclaimer: if I am wrong about this, I will do my penance by buying a Roundhouse lunch for the Speaker, the President Pro Tempore, and the Minority Leaders of the House and Senate. And swallow my pride, while I am at it.]