STATEMENT
For Immediate Release: November, 5, 2014
Contact: Maria Myotte, maria [at] rocunited [dot] org, 720.352.6153

Re-elected Cuomo Must Prioritize Fair Pay Agenda
Women’s Equality Party Should Commit to Ensuring Livable Wages and Safe Workplaces for All Women, Set Example for The Nation

The following statement is from Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United.

“A true women’s equality agenda must ensure fair pay for all women. Women have the right to get paid enough to cover their bills, rent, healthcare costs, and the needs of their children, and all women have the right to feel safe and free from sexual harassment at work. This should be a reality for all workers, but it’s not.

“In New York and across the country, the majority of people getting paid a subminimum wage and living off tips are women. These women  are much more likely to live in poverty than other workers, and are practically guaranteed to experience some form of sexual harassment on the job. Countless women, especially those living off tips, know what it’s like to put their self-respect aside in order to pay the bills.

“Cuomo’s victory is an opportunity to fix this. What Cuomo and the Women’s Equality Party accomplish in New York will not only make a difference in the lives of thousands of New York’s women, but will set a national precedent. We hope that Cuomo’s administration takes action to ensure all women are paid fair and livable wages; eliminating New York’s subminimum wage, currently just $5 an hour, and requiring all employers to pay the entirety of their employees’ wages is a critical first step toward making that a reality.”

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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.