CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Although 300,000 West Virginians were hit hard by the chemical spill that tainted tap water, another group was arguably hit harder -- service workers.
As a result of the leak, many restaurants were forced to close Thursday evening. Although some have reopened conditionally, thousands of employees went without work or pay over the weekend -- often the busiest time for restaurants.
But Sen. Chris Walters, R-Kanawha, is trying to change that. He's teamed up with Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, Delegates Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha and Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha and Charleston City Councilman Andy Richardson to encourage patrons to 'Turn Up the Tips.'
"I used to be a server," Walters said. "I waited tables right before college, through high school. That's what most people think about. Servers aren't just high school children. Servers have children. Servers have mouths to feed. All this is very important to be able to help them out.
"This campaign will increase the amount of tips they can bring home to their families where they've lost wages," Walters said. "That's the whole thing behind this."
The campaign asks people to increase their tips beyond the additional 15 to 20 percent to help the workers make up for lost wages.
"When you visit these restaurants in the days ahead, please consider leaving an extra tip to help these people," Nelson said.