Media Advisory for October 14th, 2014

Contact: Maria Myotte, maria@rocunited.org, 720 352 6153

Tuesday: “Not On The Menu” Rally Against Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Workers, Women’s Rights Leaders, and Community Activists Gather to Speak Out Against Rampant Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry and Share Stories of Living Off Tips

New York, NY — This Tuesday, just days after the release of The Glass Floor, a report which found that nearly all female restaurant workers experience sexual harassment, received widespread media coverage, approximately 50 people are expected to gather at City Hall Plaza for a creative direct action and speak outs in support of fair wage in the restaurant industry.

WHEN: 11am, Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WHERE: City Hall Plaza (On Broadway, between Murray and Park)

WHO: Approximately 50 restaurant workers, ROC members, community activists, and women’s rights leaders including Eve Ensler (feminist activist and playwright, founder of One Billion Rising, V-Day), Saru Jayaraman (co-founder and co-director of ROC United), Noreen Farrell (Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates), Aleyamma Mathew (Ms. Foundation), Marie Wilson, Hollaback! and more.

WHAT: Creative direct action, speakers sharing their experiences with sexual harassment, march and rally to Wall Street demanding fair wages for women and the elimination of the two-tiered wage system.

The rally occurs in the midst of a series of public hearings held by the New York Wage Board, which is responsible for determining the future of NY’s $5 subminimum wage. The next hearing is October 20th in New York City. New York’s absolute lowest paying jobs are tipped restaurant occupations, with more than half of the state’s 230,000 tipped workers working in restaurants. Nationally, servers are twice as likely to need food stamps than the general workforce and are three times as likely to live in poverty.

By letting the restaurant industry force women — who make up 70% of servers —  to live off tips, one of the largest industries in the country demonstrates to women, many of whom find their 1st job in the industry, that their worth is intrinsically linked to enduring forms of harassment and objectification.

The “Not On The Menu” rally will demonstrate that all women are impacted by the restaurant industry’s low wages, encourage anyone with experience in the restaurant industry to share their stories and fight the notion that pervasive sexual harassment in the restaurant industry is ‘just part of the culture.’

Find the report, The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry, here: http://rocunited.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/REPORT_The-Glass-Floor-Sexual-Harassment-in-the-Restaurant-Industry2.pdf

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Co-founded by leading workers’ rights advocate, Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News), ROC United has grown to over 13,000 members across 26 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $8 million in stolen tips and wages.