Seven Things You Didn’t Know about the Restaurant Opportunities Center

1.  Disguised as an industry employment center and watchdog, ROC is a labor union front group specifically designed to skirt legal rules for union organizing. The union UNITE-HERE even brags on their website that they founded ROC.

2. While expecting operators to adhere to their utopian vision of the work environment, ROC was sued by its own members for, among other things: expelling members who voiced views that “differed from those of the leadership and staff of ROC-NY,” “engaging in a campaign of intimidation and expulsion of members,” and “intentionally failing to pay plaintiffs a minimum wage”

3. Hypocritically, ROC often uses unpaid interns to collect data for their industry surveys, while making claims that most restaurant workers are underpaid.

4. ROC’s “studies” and “reports” are wholly ideological and don’t qualify as research. In their own training guide, they call for interviewers and data collectors to “know the agenda/purpose of these interviews” and be prepared to “prompt people in order to get these quotes.”

5. Despite altruistic posturing, ROC takes a 10 percent cut of settlements gained through a combination of multi-year protest campaigns and lawsuits. ROC’s co-founder has called this practice “really lucrative.”

6. ROC is currently part of an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is concerned by its “history of intimidation towards opponents and management problems.”

7. ROC’s Colors restaurant has been cited for serious health and sanitation violations and has a lower health department score than many of the restaurants they’ve targeted for harassment.

Download a PDF version of the Seven Things You Didn’t Know about ROC.