I try to keep this blog free of extensive quoting and writing about other people’s writing, but Jennifer Gonnerman‘s brilliant piece on the plight of the city’s food delivery people in this week’s New York Magazine gets a special exception.

If you haven’t read it I ask you to do so now — it’s riveting and you won’t want to put it down. We’ve all seen the protesters outside Saigon Grill. I, for one, have never bothered to look into the specifics of the dispute too much. I’m glad New York did, as it’s one of the most revealing and important situations we’ve recently faced in our food-obsessed city. This isn’t some run-of-the-mill labor dispute. These guys, and several others from several other restaurants around town, are routinely verbally abused, stiffed on their pay (some earning a shocking $1.70 per hour), forced to pay their own medical bills when they’re hit by cars, and forced to pay for their own meals while at work which takes a big cut out of their meager tips.

And yes, I know there’s not much you can personally do about these modern robber baron restaurant owners besides boycott the joints. That’s why I’m writing here today, to talk about what we can do, and that is to aggressively, immediately address the tipping situation.

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