ROC in the News
D.C.’s restaurant industry has defeated efforts to raise the minimum wage for restaurant workers before. This year, advocates believe they have a winning campaign.
The job market has been like musical chairs. Will the music stop?
On Labor Day ROC United introduced the Restaurant Worker Bill of Rights, with model local, state, and federal legislation. Find out how they want to add some rights to your working or dining experience. Then, hundreds rallied last Saturday for the formation of KC Power, the political arm of KC Tenants. They promise to be a voice in the city and beyond for the rights and interests of renters and all those challenged by the high cost of housing. Ariana will Remember Our Struggle in labor history.
“Because of the public-health crisis, we don’t know how it’s going to be,” said Dr. Sekou Siby, president and CEO of ROC United.” The riots could heighten consumer hesitancy to hang around the nation’s capital, he added.
“I think we can undo [the new regulations] quickly and then go over the entire process where the Labor Department is having a conversation with all the stakeholders to see how we can really create good jobs in the food industry,” said Dr. Sekou Siby, president and CEO of ROC United.
As the worsening pandemic continues to slow the jobs recovery, Dr. Sekou Siby, president and CEO, speaks with PBS MarketPlace how the vaccine will help restaurant workers in Washington, D.C. and across the country.
Jennifer Moreau, a restaurant worker in Cincinnati, OH, challenges the notion that workers would rather stay home and accept higher unemployment payments. “I want to work and earn the money I’m making,” she said.
“Virtual restaurant workers are more vulnerable because of the nature of the employment itself,” says Sekou Siby of ROC United. “A ghost kitchen may change locations, like a pop-up, so the Labor Department doesn’t know where it is. In order to file a complaint, you need to know where your employer is.”
“We will support the bill as long as there is a guarantee that restaurant workers will at least earn similar wages before the pandemic,” said Anthony Advincula, spokesman for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a non-profit advocating for higher wages and better working conditions for restaurant workers.
“For too long,” according to restaurant workers, “we’ve let a powerful few block efforts to ensure paid time to care for our loved ones and recover from illness ourselves. When any one of us does not have access to paid time off to stay home, all of us are at risk.”