2/14 - National Day of Action in Support of Restaurant Workers

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Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Feb 5 2011
The federal tipped minimum wage continues to be atrociously low at $2.13/hour. For twenty years now, tipped workers in the restaurant industry and elsewhere have toiled for a miserable wage, in part due to the fact that restaurant workers have not had a voice. But that is all about to change! The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) is now in seven states and growing every day - just a few weeks ago Katie Couric mentioned ROC-United on the air on CBS News. However, even with our growing muscle, we are unable to compete with the $ millions that are poured by the National Restaurant Association to fight off any effort to increase the tipped minimum wage. They have thousands of lobbyists that are very cozy with members of Congress. If we are going to have an impact in the next few years, it will only happen if the organizations that care about this issue all join together and speak with one voice!
 
ROC United is planning a National Day of Action on February 14th 2011—the highest grossing day in the restaurant industry -- to lift the voices of tipped workers and make sure we are not drowned out in this Congress. In LA, Miami and DC we are releasing reports based on surveys we’ve conducted with restaurant workers and holding Restaurant Industry Summits. In Chicago, New York, New Orleans and Detroit, ROC United is taking restaurant workers on delegations to meet with their members of Congress. In other states our allies are organizing delegations to meet with their members of Congress. We will have a team in Washington DC that will visit all of the members of Congress’ offices simultaneously, this coordinated effort helps us stand out and gives us maximum exposure with the members of Congress and the national media.

Most importantly, Congresswoman Donna Edwards will re-introduce the historic piece of legislation called the WAGES Act that aims at fixing the broken tipped minimum wage by pegging it to the regular minimum wage at 70%.

While all the action is happening in the real world, we will also be unveiling a new web-tool that will list the members of Congress that have supported an increase to the minimum wage in the past and give anyone who visits the website a tool they can use to write a letter urging their members of Congress to support an increase to the tipped minimum wage.  Because all of the actions are taking place on Valentine’s Day, we have planned “love-themed” actions all over the country!

For more information contact Jose Oliva, National Policy Coordinator, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, jose [at] rocunited [dot] org.

www.rocunited.org