Join over 24,000 restaurant workers to take action on May 1 to demand better wages and benefits


Restaurant Opportunities Centers, boasting nearly 25,000 members, fighting for better wages and work conditions for our nation’s 12 million restaurant workers has voted to strike on May 1, 2017, International Worker’s Day.

Sign up today to register for the May 1 actions!

ROC United is proud to announce our Direct Action Network of pro-bono lawyers to assist workers on May 1. To support workers on May 1, and beyond, we have created a Worker Direct Action Fund for workers who will need legal support and support for basic needs.

Here’s where your donation will go:

  • $10 – Transportation for worker participating in May Day actions
  • $25 – Sponsor a worker who was retaliated against for part of a workday
  • $50 – Sponsor a worker who was retaliated against for participating in the strike for 1 full day
  • $100 – Legal support for worker retaliated against
  • $250 – Adopt a shop
  • $500 – Group bus rental for 5 hours
  • $1,000 – Fund a protest and/or direct action training beyond May Day

Help restaurant workers participate in the strike by providing a safety net for them. Far too often, restaurant workers must choose between their principles and values vs paying the rent. Let’s make our general strike a huge success by providing a safety net for participating workers. We assure you that 100% of the funds will go directly to striking workers or to assist workers after May 1.

Please donate today or stand in solidarity with us on May 1 


Restaurant workers, please sign up to record your participation on May 1. Note, only workers who have registered on this form are eligible to receive assistance from the Worker Direct Action Fund. Please sign up today! Join thousands of other workers making a difference on May 1.

Click on the following form to register for May 1.

We invite you to participate in the following ways:

Go on strike!

You and a coworker acting together is a concerted action and protected activity under the law. You can strike on May 1 to improve your wages and working conditions.

Going on strike is a federally protected act.

A strike is a work stoppage caused by employees’ refusal to work. The right to strike is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Step 1: Organize, organize, organize

The best way to build solidarity is to get lots of people to participate at your restaurant and in your neighborhood. Sign up on this form and ask your co-workers to sign up as well. The more, the better. Have questions? Contact us right away at

Organizing your coworkers builds power in your restaurant. If you organize a successful strike, after May Day you can think about what your workplace organization could do fight for improved working conditions at your restaurant.

Step 2: Deliver your strike notice to your employer

Register today to get a strike notice. Deliver your strike notice to your manager at the end of your shift on Sunday, April, 30th (if you work weekends), on Friday, April 28th (if your place of work is closed on the weekends), or on May 1st before anyone starts their shift. Register today!

Be sure to officially notify your employer that you and your co-workers plan. Delivering an official strike notice to your employer gives you an extra level of legal protection, ensuring they cannot claim you are a no call no show

Step 3: Record yourself

Record or take a picture as you deliver the notice. Keep a copy of the notice with everyone’s signature for your records.

About your strike notice. . . .

The notice must say you are on strike over wages and working conditions.

If you are in a union . . . .

If you have a union there may be restrictions in place over your right to strike or to honor a picket line. Check your union contract for specifics. Even if there is a contract in place you can still organize as a group to pressure your restaurant not to retaliate against people who participate.

Organize a walkout at your restaurant

  • Leave your restaurant for the day and organize your coworkers for a walkout in solidarity with the May 1 Strike.
  • Chat with your co-workers to get on the same page regarding an agreed-upon time for the walkout.
  • Be sure to clearly notify your employer that you are walking out and why.

Petition your employer to close for the day

The more workers united the more powerful.

  • Print the Employer Petition for the May 1 Day of Action and ask your co-workers to sign on to the day of action.
  • Together ask your employer to shut the doors of their restaurant for the day in observance of International Workers’ Day.


  • Organize your co-workers
  • Get your coworkers together and talk about the day of action.
  • Circulate a petition at your workplace asking your restaurant to shut down on May 1st in solidarity (Sample petition attached).
  • Sign as many of your co-workers as possible up to participate.
  • You can organize a May Day committee to sign up co-workers in in both front and back of the house, and in every shift to participate. Be sure to get everyone’s contact information so that committee members can call and remind them to participate the day before May Day.

Deliver your petition

Take a delegation with as many of your co-workers as possible to your boss to deliver the petition and to notify them in advance. Possible talking points: “We are all going to participate on May 1st. Please join us in standing up for better wages and work conditions for the day. Since many of us won’t be here it would be hard to continue operations without us anyway. We will not tolerate retaliation against any of us for participating, and we encourage you to join us.”

Spread the word

Show your solidarity with the May 1 Strike by sharing the below social media materials with your networks.

Share #may1 #rocunitedonmay1 #1fairwage

Be sure to send this sign-up form to your family and friends.

Tell us if you’re shutting down for the day

If you are an employer planning to participate in the May 1 Strike by we want to hear from you! ROC United is committed to lifting up the efforts of courageous employers who stand with workers and their allies. Please use the below form to tell us how you’re participating by:

  • closing your restaurant on May 1, or
  • performing limited service on May 1, or
  • granting your employees a paid day off to participate on May 1

Click here to learn more about the Sanctuary Restaurants Movement and our Spendrise program for ways in which you can be recognized for your efforts and join our movement.



Support Businesses that Share Your Values

ROC United and Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment (RAISE) are proud announce a new partnership with Spendrise. All partners will work in tandem to support restaurants who have participated in national days of action or are members of Sanctuary Restaurants, establishments who believe that there is a place at the table for everyone. “Spendrise exists to give consumers power to leverage our dollars to create change. We have pulled together a list of restaurants so consumers can easily choose to spend at restaurants that support their values. We encourage everyone to choose to support these businesses,” says Spendrise founder Eric Shih.

ATTENTION ETHICAL DINERS: If you’re an ethical diner, please support businesses that match your values by buying gift certificates to restaurants participating in May 1 events at Also, feel free to petition your restaurants to close on May 1

ATTENTION RESTAURANT OWNERS: Participating in May 1 events? Be sure to register your participation to be listed on the Spendrise platform. Allow customers to reward you for participating in May 1 events. Sign up today!