For Immediate Release


Tim Rusch,, 917.399.0236

Anna Zuccaro,, 914.523.9145

Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United

With Minimum Wage Vote Imminent, Labor Leader Calls On Senate to Help Workers Over Corporate Lobbyists

WASHINGTON - Statement from Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, on the expected 1st vote on Fair Minimum Wage Act & National Restaurant Association’s letter to Senators

“Today, one day before an expected cloture vote on the Fair Minimum Wage Act, lobbyists for the National Restaurant Association -- one of the most powerful lobbies in the country -- are in D.C. to push their agenda of profits and poverty wages. We were forwarded a letter yesterday signed by Scott DeFife, the NRA’s lead lobbyist, in which he asks the Senate to oppose the Fair Minimum Wage Act and “work with the small business community on a plan.”

“Let’s be clear -- the National Restaurant Association is not the small business community. The NRA is the lobby of choice for Fortune 500 companies like McDonalds, Darden Restaurants (the largest full-service restaurant company in the world), and Starbucks. Surveys show that the majority of small business owners support raising the minimum wage or are already paying above it. However, it certainly makes it more difficult for any business owner to do so, especially restaurant owners, if they’re competing against the Walmarts of the restaurant world -- the very companies who the National Restaurant Association’s agenda represents and whose interests it’ll be taking to the halls of Congress today and tomorrow.

Find the most comprehensive report to date on the National Restaurant Association “The Other NRA: Unmasking the Agenda of the National Restaurant Association” at:

Find ROC United’s full-page New York Times ad targetting the National Restaurant Association:


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Co-founded by labor rights leader 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 members across 26 cities in the US, winning 13 worker-led campaigns, totaling $7 million in stolen tips and wages.

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