Endorsed by the National Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Insight’s Center Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, and the Applied Research Center
The potential for the growing restaurant industry to revive a lifeless job market is limited by both bad jobs and racial segregation. The industry’s many poverty-wage jobs are disproportionately held by people of color and the livable-wage jobs, mostly server and bartender positions in fine dining restaurants, are disproportionately held by Whites. The facts and figures laid out in the “Blacks in the Industry” report show the severity of the situation for Blacks in the industry and underline the urgent need for action.
While restaurants were a major site of the many sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement that challenged the system of official segregation that denied patrons of color their human dignity, today we are fighting a system of de facto segregation to reclaim dignity for workers of color in this immense and growing industry. Black diners, who contributed almost $25 billion to the restaurant industry in 2010, have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with Black restaurant workers.