On March 7-9, 2017, ROC United worker leaders from around the nation convened in Washington, DC at the annual National Leadership Network (NLN) Convention. Worker leaders came together to discuss winning or maintaining One Fair Wage—the elimination of the subminimum wage for tipped workers. Attendees shared stories, attended skills-building workshops and conducted plenary sessions.
To conclude the NLN Convention, on March 8, worker leaders joined Women Workers Rising on the #DayWithoutAWoman during the Women’s General Strike.
ROC United’s worker leaders led the march of over 5,000 protestors at the United States Department of Labor.
There, workers protested the high rates of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Furthermore, ROC leaders protested the nomination of R. Alexander Acosta, nominee for U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The Trump Administration’s Labor Secretary nominee, R. Alexander Acosta is unfit to lead the Department of Labor. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he supported efforts to suppress African American voters. Additionally, while a U.S. Attorney, he gave a wealthy business man accused of soliciting underaged prostitutes a light sentence. As Saru Jayaraman explained to In These Times, “This is very relevant to workers in the restaurant sector because sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the restaurant industry is just rampant…Acosta does not take the issue seriously.”
There’s more. His professional career is littered with anti-worker positions. In 2003, he voted in favor of firing hospital strikers. Later, he ignored an employer’s threats to workers attempting to form a union. He even voted in the minority against penalization of a company guilty of misconduct.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to protect our nation’s most vulnerable workers from exploitation. Acosta’s record shows he will do the opposite. Last month, your resistance forced Andrew Puzder to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Labor. Help us to ensure R. Alexander Acosta shares the same fate. Contact your Senator today to urge them to vote NO on R. Alexander Acosta for U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The Women Workers Rising event received major press coverage, featuring ROC’s members. We look forward to next year’s convening of the National Leadership Network Convention.