Who We Are
ROC-MI uses a unique, tri-pronged model to achieve systems-change that includes: (1) workplace justice campaigns to move restaurant companies that take the low-road to profitability; (2) promoting the high-road to profitability through partnerships with responsible employers and workforce development programs that move low-income workers into living wage jobs; and (3) participatory research and policy work that lift standards industry-wide.
We have over 1,700 low-wage restaurant worker members, with the majority of our low-income membership base living in Detroit. ROC-MI operates COLORS Detroit Restaurant (a non-profit social enterprise) which houses the Colors Hospitality Opportunities for Workers (CHOW) Institute and the Colors Co-Op Academy. ROC-MI also convenes the local tables for Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards of Employment (RAISE) and Diners United (a group of ethical diners).
Our HistoryThe Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York was initially founded in New York City by Fekkak Mamdouh and Saru Jayaraman after September 11th, 2001 to provide support to restaurant workers displaced as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy. In 2008 we launched the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which has grown into a national organization with 18,000 low-wage restaurant worker members in 15 states.
Research & PolicyROC organizes restaurant worker members, academics, and other allies to conduct the most comprehensive industry analyses ever conducted on the United States restaurant industry. This participatory research serves as the basis for our worker-led local, state, and federal policy advocacy.
The "High Road"Taking the High Road to Profitability is an ethical, pragmatic and, we believe, profitable approach to doing business that benefits employers, employees, consumers and the community.
ROC promotes sustainable best practices that positively impact industry employees’ wages and working conditions to the benefit of all by promoting the High Road to Profitability
Current Workplace Justice Campaigns:
At just $2.13 per hour at the federal level, the sub-minimum wage system leaves tipped workers — largely women and people of color — disproportionately impacted by financial insecurity, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
The movement for One Fair Wage seeks to eliminate this unjust, two-tiered wage system, and establish a fair, living wage for all workers.
1 Fair Wage for
ALL Restaurant Workers...
The Earned Sick Time Act is a bill to provide workers with the right to earn sick time for personal or family health needs, as well as purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault and school meetings needed as the result of a child’s disability, health, or issues due to domestic violence and sexual assault; to specify the conditions for accruing and using earned sick time; to prohibit retaliation against an employee for requesting, exercising, or enforcing rights granted in this act; to prescribe powers and duties of certain state departments, agencies, and officers; to provide for promulgation of rules; and to provide remedies and sanctions.
The proposal would allow people to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers could earn up to nine days of paid sick time, depending on the size of the business.
Join Us in our Battle to receive Earned Paid Sick Time...
Gain Insights through Recommended Reading:
Publishers Weekly - (11 February 2013)
Library Journal - (15 February 2013)
Danny Glover - Actor, Producer, and Co-Founder of Louverture Films