Despite the restaurant industry’s importance to New York City, the restaurant workforce union density is only at 1%. ROC-NY therefore works to build a base of power and win justice among non-unionized restaurant workers who face exploitative and abusive workplaces.
Through a combination of worker organizing and empowerment, litigation, and public pressure, ROC-NY wins back unpaid wages and discrimination claims for these workers as well as important changes in the industry, such as vacations, paid sick days, mandated breaks, and more.
In the last nine years, we have won nine campaigns against abusive restaurants, totaling over $4.9 million in discrimination and unpaid wages. In addition to our own targeted campaign work, our victories also lay the ground in fostering leadership through our membership. Members are trained in campaign organizing and in harnessing the power and energy in their own co-workers to make the New York City restaurant industry a better place to work in.
As part of our workplace justice campaigns, ROC-NY has been assisting a group of more than 40 workers in challenging illegal and unjust workplace practices at Del Posto restaurant, a Four-star restaurant owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.
For years, these workers were confronted with tip misappropriation and discrimination. Since this time, the workers have organized public actions outside of the restaurant, filed a federal lawsuit and EEOC charges, and organized consumers to support their campaign. As a consequence, the workers have won several favorable changes in their working conditions and have been in settlement discussions with the company to win more significant improvements in their workplace.