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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Peninsula | Labor & Workers
Call to improve wages and working conditions for restaurant workers!
Out of an evening with speaker/author Saru Jayaraman, came a commitment to support the newly formed ROC--United Bay Area Chapter. ROC-United is the only national organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to the needs of restaurant workers. ROC stands for Restaurant Opportunities Centers.
Despite employing more than 10 million workers and producing more than $1.7 trillion in revenue each year, the United States restaurant industry is less than 1% unionized. Until ROC-United’s growth and development, the lack of organization left millions of restaurant workers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation around the country.
Through policy work, employer engagement, workplace justice campaigns, membership development and more, ROC-United has become a powerful national vehicle for restaurant workers to lift their collective voices on issues affecting all low-wage workers, including the minimum wage, paid sick days, compliance with basic employment standards, and lack of health care.
Transition Palo Alto sponsored Saru Jayaraman's visit to the Peninsula where she galvanized an enthusiastic audience. Are we eating ethically if the workers who make our food, serve us, and clean the dishes and restaurant aren't treated fairly? "Pay your workers well" sang the Raging Grannies to start off the evening. When the situation is necessary, ROC-United members have been on the streets in Los Angeles and New York in front of restaurants where appeals to restaurant employers to show respect for workers have failed. The Grannies, who were honoring long time restaurant worker and sister Granny Ann Bjorndahl who died recently, said "we'll be there" when action is needed.
Transition Palo Alto is part of a world-wide grassroots movement to build local resilience and connections close to home. Since 2010, they’ve been mounting creative and thoughtful responses to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability. Transition Palo Alto sponsored the event.
Slow food means eating ethically; the welfare of food providers and restaurant workers must be top priority