For Immediate Release
April 28, 2014

Contact: Maria [at] rocunited [dot] org

Monday: Movement Leaders’ Full Page New York Times Ad Takes on the National Restaurant Association’s Destructive Agenda & Monied Influence

Ad Coincides with Release of Most Comprehensive Exposé to Date on Corporate Restaurant Lobby

View the Ad at:

Washington, DC — On Monday, leading organizations from food, women’s health, environmental, and labor movements published a full-page New York Times ad the day before the National Restaurant Association’s annual lobbying days. The ad targets the NRA’s influence in Congress and asks elected officials to stop accepting the NRA’s corporate cash.

To date, the National Restaurant Association has spent more lobbying dollars opposing a minimum-wage boost than any other single industry group, but the organizations co-signed on the ad are joining forces to counter the NRA’s agenda to thwart initiatives and regulation that have detrimental impacts beyond the restaurant industry.

“The NRA and its corporate members have consistently put profits before public health, animal welfare, consumers, workers, and the planet,” said Anna Lappé, best-selling author of Diet for a Hot Planet. “Any long-term strategy aimed at bringing sustainability and transparency to our food system depends on pushing back against the NRA’s monied influence in Congress.”

“The National Restaurant Association and its biggest corporate members like McDonalds and Red Lobster are regular opponents of policies my organization fights for,” said Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. “The fact that they’ve been successfully lobbying their way out of paying their workers for the past couple decades by keeping the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour since 1991 proves that this corporate lobby is extremely powerful and dangerous. What’s more troubling is that everything the NRA does has enormous ramifications beyond the restaurant industry and throughout our entire economy.”

On Monday, ROC United released the most comprehensive report to date on the NRA, its top members, and their combined monied influence in Congress.

Monday also will see protests on Capitol Hill targeting the National Restaurant Association and corporate-caused inequality.

The ad’s list of co-signers is broad and growing, including  food system and public health organizations, activists and writers; women’s organizations; workers’ organizations; corporate accountability groups; policymakers, and more.

  • 9to5, Association of Working Women

  • Alliance for a Just Society

  • Andy Fisher (Co-founder, founding Executive Director, Community Food Security Coalition)

  • Anna Lappé (Head of Real Food Media Project, bestselling author of Diet for a Hot Planet)

  • Brandworkers

  • Community Food and Justice Coalition

  • Cook County PLACE MATTERS

  • Corporate Accountability International

  • Diane Hatz (Change Food)

  • Family Values @ Work

  • Food Chain Workers Alliance

  • Food Tank Think Tank

  • Food & Water Watch

  • Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action

  • Kshama Sawant, founder of

  • Michele Simon, founder of Eat Drink Politics

  • National Domestic Workers Alliance

  • National Family Farm Coalition

  • National Organization for Women

  • PICO National Network

  • Planting Justice

  • The Praxis Project

  • Progressive States Action

  • Puget Sound Sage

  • Raj Patel (Bestselling author of Stuffed and Starved)

  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

  • United Workers’ Congress

  • Wider Opportunities For Women

  • Working Families Party

  • Working America, Community Affiliate of the AFL-CIO



Co-founded by labor rights leader 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 13 worker-led campaigns, totaling $7 million in stolen tips and wages.