By SARU JAYARAMAN --This is a special Labor Day for the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC). 2011 is an incredible year – not only the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the origins of our founding, but also the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. We see so many parallels in the incredibly labor movement built in the aftermath of that tragedy, and the restaurant worker movement we are trying to build in the aftermath of 9/11.
According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and as highlighted by the Huffington Post restaurant workers and other food-service and retail employees hold most of the lowest paying jobs in the United States. With no regulations and workplace laws, like the minimum wage, where would the market forces take workers’ wages?