While serious, scientific research is essential for understanding complex social issues, ROC has repeatedly used surveys to support its dubious agenda. The union-backed worker center decides which conclusion it wants to reach and backfills the result by canvassing whichever subset of workers will yield the appropriate outcome. The more outrageous the social ill ROC hopes to cure, the better. Case in point: ROC NY’s “Food Insecurity of Restaurant Workers.”
ROC NY didn’t even bother with the veneer of legitimacy by coopting a university for its latest report, perhaps because even the most supportive academics shied away from the shoddy methodology. The survey is based on “semi-structured interviews” conducted on an “ad hoc basis” according to the report. ROC has have often relied on “convenience surveys” to boost results of their flawed research and, true to form, workers were interviewed by ROC and UNITE HERE members during breaks from work with little consistency among the conversations or survey questions from one market to the next. Yet somehow ROC was able to generalize the mixed results from 280ish workers and apply them to an entire industry. Furthermore, ROC NY’s ‘research’ was geographically limited to New York City and San Francisco while its conclusions are extrapolated for the entire industry. No one would consider either city as representative – wages, rent, transportation, and other costs of living factors are completely out-of-check with most any other city in the country.
It should come as little surprise that the ROC NY report concluded that unionization – specifically membership in the union that founded ROC (UNITE HERE) – is the prescription for ending hunger. ROC and its labor ally also drew the conclusion from their ‘research’ that workers should be guaranteed the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining.
There’s no denying that food insecurity is a serious and important issue. Rather than making a meaningful effort to address the issue, ROC and its labor partners took the low-road and exploited it to assert that everyone would be better off if they belonged to ROC’s parent union, or ate at the handful of restaurants endorsed by ROC that on average sale $20+ burgers. Next week, ROC is planning on releasing another “first of its kind” study that documents how joining a union will deliver world peace. Stay tuned.