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Wed Apr 30, 2014, 05:54 AM

Progressive Restaurant Owners Stand with Workers for Better Wages at Big Corporate Food Chains like


Progressive Restaurant Owners Stand with Workers for Better Wages at Big Corporate Food Chains like Pizza Hut and KFC

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United lobbies Congress. Left to Right: Peter Ellis, owner of El Fuego restaurant in Philadelphia; Britton Loftin, National Policy Coordinator at ROC United; Dmitri Syrkin-Nikolau, owner of Dimo's Pizza in Chicago; Carlos Romero, organizer in Chicago; and Calvin Okunye, organizer in Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Mara Kardas-Nelson

Of the five of them, only one wears a tie. Another wears a T-shirt. All are under the age of 40; only one is white. All are former restaurant workers, and two are now restaurant owners. Only one lives in DC, the other four making their homes in either Chicago or Philadelphia.

This is not the contingent you expect to see lobbying in the halls of Congress. And that's exactly the point. Members of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, which represents 13,000 restaurant workers and thousands of consumers uniting to improve restaurant wages and working conditions, and Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment (RAISE), a ROC initiative made up of 100 restaurant owners supportive of ROC's efforts, are in Washington, D.C., this week to push back against efforts of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), a multi-million-dollar outfit that represents some of the biggest names in corporate food.

The " other NRA" counts among its members corporations like Starbucks, Darden Restaurants (which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Capitol Grille, among others), and Yum! Brands (owner of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC). It wields huge influence in American politics and policy, historically pushing back on efforts to raise the minimum wage, close the pay gap between men and women, and require nutritional labeling on foods.

This week marks the group's annual lobbying blast, with handfuls of NRA lobbyists descending on the hill to pressure Congress to keep wages low and profits sky-high. On the heels of a successful economic justice protest, in which ROC and hundreds of other groups from across the nation stopped mid-day DC traffic to demand an increase in the minimum wage, ROC and RAISE members met with members of Congress on Tuesday to show elected officials that the NRA is not representative of all restaurant owners, and that the corporate-led industry is in desperate need of a shakeup.

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Reply Progressive Restaurant Owners Stand with Workers for Better Wages at Big Corporate Food Chains like (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2014 OP
Dorian Gray Apr 2014 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Apr 30, 2014, 06:17 AM

1. The restaurant owners

listed are good men. It makes me happy that there are people out there who want to do the right thing despite costs to themselves.

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