Direct Action to Raise Wages and Labor Standards

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release: February 13, 2015

Contact: Carlos Romero, 219-378-8822, carlos@rocunited.org

Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Chicago and Allies to Stage Surprise Direct Action at The Capital Grille to Call On Darden Restaurants to Raise Wages and Labor Standards

The Day Before Valentine’s Day, One of the Most Profitable Days of the Year for the Restaurant Industry, Restaurant Workers to Demand One Fair Wage


Chicago, IL
– Today, February 13th (2.13) several restaurant workers and community leaders will take action inside The Capital Grille, owned by Darden Restaurants Inc., to demand to raise the abysmally low tipped minimum wage which forces tipped workers to live predominantly off tips. The direct action will be accompanied on social media by using hashtag #recipe4love which supporters will be tweeting @Darden from 8pm-9pm.

Visuals: Press to arrive at 9pm sharp at entrance of Capital Grille to capture the moment activists exit for 15 minute program

As the largest full-service restaurant corporation in the world, Darden Restaurants Inc., is also the largest employer of tipped restaurant workers — a majority female workforce. The federal tipped minimum wage has been $2.13 an hour since 1991. Nationally, servers use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the US workforce and are three-times as likely to live in poverty.

WHEN: Friday, February 13th at 9:00 pm
WHERE: The Capital Grille 633 N. St. Clair Chicago, IL 60611

WHAT: Direct action inside The Capital Grille to be tweeted via @rocchicago, followed by a short 15 minute program where One Fair Wage advocates will call on The Capital Grille, and all restaurants, to pay a living wage to tipped workers

WHO: ROC-Chicago, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Raise the Floor, Paid Sick Days Coalition, Women Employed, Cook County Place Matters, ARISE, Grassroots Collaborative

“The cause of violence [in Chicago] is not guns, it’s poverty,” said Rameka Aton, ROC-Chicago member. “It is time to raise the standard and hold companies like Darden and the NRA responsible for the disparities they incur on low income communities when they exploit their workers.”

Darden is a leading member of the corporate restaurant lobby, the National Restaurant Association. The extremely low “wage floor” in the restaurant industry is the result of intense lobbying by the National Restaurant Association, often referred to as “the Other NRA,” which is the most organized employer lobby in the country, and has spent millions of dollars opposing minimum-wage increases all over the country.

The One Fair Wage campaign is a national and state-by-state effort led by ROC United to eliminate the lower, tipped minimum wage thereby ensuring all workers are paid directly the full minimum wage by their employers.

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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 over 13,000 worker-members across 26 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $8 million in stolen tips and wages.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) is a non-profit that seeks to improve working conditions for restaurant workers. We assist workers seeking legal redress and provide customers and the public with information about the litigation in this restaurant through these signs, and do not seek to picket or interfere with deliveries. ROC United is neither a workers union nor a labor organization and does not seek to represent the workers or be recognized as a collective bargaining agent of the workers at this restaurant.

Carlos E. Romero
High Road Organizer
ROC Chicago
77 w Washington, Suite 1507
(219)378-8822
Check Out Our Book! Behind The Kitchen Door

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