October 17, 2015
CONTACT: Tim Rusch, 917-399-0236,
Andrea Alford, 703-477-1075,

Saru Jayaraman, co-director and co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), comments on New York Times editorial calling for elimination of the tipped minimum wage:

ROC United applauds the New York Times Editorial Board’s decision to weigh in with its recent editorial calling for the elimination of the separate, lower minimum wage for tipped workers. The piece shines a necessary spotlight on the perpetuation of an unjust, two-tiered wage system that far too often denies restaurant workers — two thirds of whom are women — a livable wage.

We are proud that ROC United’s restaurant worker, employer, and consumer members have been at the forefront of a national movement for One Fair Wage.

While efforts on the part of forward-thinking restaurateurs like Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio are valuable and appreciated, substantive change will only come from legislation that establishes one fair wage for all workers. We applaud  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in raising wages, and we urged him not to leave any workers, especially New York’s women, behind. As the New York Times has now affirmed, it is time for New York leaders and legislators nationwide to eliminate the tipped minimum wage, once and for all.


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 18,000 worker members across over 30 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $10 million in stolen tips and wages.