ROC United’s Victories and Milestones
It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day work—long hours of mobilizing and organizing with our members, seemingly endless Zoom meetings, and brainstorming ideas to ensure that we make it right and never drop the ball. But while we take pride in our core values that we’re all in this work together, it’s equally important for all of us to take the time to celebrate our victories and milestones.
Despite the new challenges of surging cases of the coronavirus, we have been experiencing an unbelievable year, influencing legislation that strengthens families and communities, raising public awareness, shifting and changing the narratives in the media and, most importantly, winning and fighting for restaurant workers related to living wages and better work conditions.
Together, we reap the benefits and successes of our hard work:
- In a campaign led by ROC Minnesota, more than 200 restaurant workers in Minneapolis have persevered and won a big victory: the Bartmann Companies have settled to pay these workers more than $230,000 in back wages, overtime and damages.
- After ROC Washington, D.C. tirelessly mobilized and organized with our members and partners for a year, the D.C. Council approved the inclusion of $41 million in cash assistance for excluded workers, who are mostly undocumented workers, cash-economy workers or returning citizens.
- At a national press conference, ROC United released the State of the Restaurant Workers report, a comprehensive analysis of the restaurant workforce nationwide, tracking demographic information, poverty, public assistance and unemployment.
- More than 10,000 restaurant workers have graduated from our CHOW classes in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York. Last month, in Chicago, all graduates were notably women of color.
- We have reached more than 62,000 potential members throughout the country, showing about a 97 percent increase from last year.
- Between April and June, we had more than 1,500 mentions in national and regional media platforms nationwide. That’s a nearly 200 percent increase from the first quarter of 2021.
- With our partnership with the Seattle for Civil Rights, we launched a live-streaming event in July, paying tribute to restaurant owners and workers who continue to practice sustainable racial equity models that champion living wages, essential benefits, fair promotion policies and safety guidelines, most notably for workers of color.
As we reflect on our victories and achievements, please accept my heartfelt and profound gratitude for all that you have done to raise our voice for issues that are critical to the restaurant workers that we serve. We truly learn from our successes, help plan for the future and seize opportunities in the days ahead.