Over White House opposition, Democrats on the House Labor Standards Subcommittee yesterday proposed expanding President Carter's minimum-wage compromise to cover tipped workers, who are now partially exempt.
Gradual phaseout of the so-called tip credit was proposed by Rep. Phillip Burton (D-Calif.), acting subcommittee chairman, as part of a series of amendments that go beyond the compromise with organized labor that Carter disclosed Tuesday.
Nick Edes, the Labor Department's assistant secretary for legislation, said he did not think the proposals - scheduled for further consideration by the subcommittee on Monday and a vote by the Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday - were the sort of thing that would prompt a veto.
Under the Carter-labor compromise, the minimum wage would be increased from $2.30 to $2.65 an hour next year, with future increases pegged to a percentage of average industrial wages: 52 per cent in 1979 and 53 per cent in 1980 and thereafter.
Carter and labor were unable to reach agreement on the tip credit, under which workers such as waiters and waitresses who normally receive a substantial part of their income in tips can be paid 50 per cent of the minimum wage.
Under Burton's proposal, the 50 per cent credit would be reduced in five annual steps until 1983, when it would be eliminated. Burton said the proposal represented a compromise between Carter, who favored retention of the credit, and hotel and restaurant unions, which wanted it repealed immediately.
Burton also proposed that average industrial wages be rounded off to the next higest nickle in computing the minimum wage.
He proposed that all existing minimum-wage exemptions be removed for corporations with incomes of $100 million a year or more in an apparent attempt to assure coverage for farm workers employed by large agribusinesses.
In another labor-related development, congressional conservatives introduced what they called an "Employee Bill of Rights" as a counter-proposal to the labor law reform package Carter is expected to submit to Congress next week with AFL-CIO backing.
The conservatives' bill, which was promptly endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, would permit an employer to demand a secret-ballot vote of workers on calling or continuing a strike, ban wage checkoffs for political contributions, prohibit unions from imposing disciplinary fines on members and permit workers to refrain from joining unions for religious reasons.