Martins vs. Waiters


I am a resident of Great Neck and a constituent of Jack Martins. I confess that I eat out a lot.

Waiters and waitresses are among the hardest working people I know. They have to carry heavy trays, deal with rude customers, and stand on their feet for hours. Are you aware that catering companies on Long Island made a habit of pocketing gratuities meant for the staff? In 2008, the state’s top court ruled that catering service charges must be paid to workers if the customers had a reasonable assumption that it was a gratuity.

As a result, lawsuits were filed against the caterers by restaurant workers who claim they were cheated out of millions of dollars in gratuities. However, the caterers found a friend in Senator Martins. He took $56,000 in campaign contributions from them, and then wrote a bill that would grant them immunity from multiple lawsuits, already filed by workers, seeking tips dating back to 2004.

Senator Martins must listen to the voice of his constituents and the residents of Long Island, and not to big money donors like the catering industry. The people of the North Shore deserve a clean state government free of the corruption and undue corporate influence. We, as constituents of Jack Martins, want and need a true voice in our state election system. If Senator Martins cannot deliver the elections we deserve, if he refuses to support the Fair Elections proposal in Governor Cuomo’s budget, then we need a senator who will.
—Ruth Shalom, Great Neck