On a recent show, activist and author Saru Jayaraman told Bill that people working in the food service industry often don’t receive the health care, pay and sick days they deserve. She hopes that Americans will speak out when they dine out.
“If consumers asked, every time they ate out, or said to the management, ‘Love the food, love the service, I would love to see you provide paid sick days, as a consumer that’s important to me,’ or ‘I would love to see you do better on your wages, not pay $2.13,’ just before leaving, we feel like that could make a tremendous difference in moving the industry,” says Jayaraman.
Jayaraman is co-founder and director of The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, an organization that works to improve wages and working conditions for restaurant workers. For consumers, ROC publishes a guide to ethical eating, which lets you know which restaurants in your area treat their workers fairly. For restaurant workers, ROC provides job training, legal and organizing support. There’s also a free mobile version available for iPhone or Android. You can also visit thewelcometable.net to learn more. Restaurant owners and workers, also check out the Restaurant Worker Health Care Cooperative, which provides uninsured restaurant workers with timely, direct access to basic medical care at a low, reasonable cost.