Congratulations to our two newest members of the WCF: Restaurant Opportunities Center New York and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
Restaurant Opportunities Center New York (ROC- NY)
ROC-NY is an affiliate of ROC United. We are dedicated to improving the working conditions in the restaurant industry. We actively outreach to workers in the NYC area to build, develop, and lead the worker center. We use a tri-pronged model of change to build power and voice for restaurant workers. We do this in the following ways:
Workplace justice campaigns: We support restaurant workers who face workplace injustices by demonstrating public consequences for employers who violate workers’ legal rights
Promoting the “high-road”: We collaborate with responsible employers to model how taking the “high road” can actually be profitable and work together to transform the industry; for example, we partner on workforce development program that moves low-wage workers into living wage jobs
Research and policy work: We engage in worker-led participatory and research work to lift standards industry-wide. What workers tell us through our research work determines our policy priorities.
New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA)
Founded in 1998, NYTWA is the 18,000-member strong union of NYC taxicab drivers. We fight for justice, rights, respect and dignity for the over 50,000 licensed men and women who labor 12 hour shifts with little pay and little protection in the city’s mobile sweatshop. Our members come from every community, garage, and neighborhood.
Through organizing, direct action, legal and health services, media presence, political advocacy, and the cultivation of allies and supporters, NYTWA — a multi-ethnic, multi-generational union — builds power for one of the most visible, yet vulnerable, immigrant workforces in the city of New York.
In 2012, NYTWA won a livable income raise, first-time regulations of taxi companies, and a Health and Disability Fund for drivers, the first for taxi drivers nationwide and one of the first for independent contractors. In 2011, NYTWA was chartered to build the National Taxi Workers Alliance, the 57th union of the AFL-CIO. The NTWA is the first charter for non-traditional workers since the farm workers in the 1960’s, and the first one ever of independent contractors.
Together, we fight campaigns for structural change in the industry and support individual drivers with comprehensive advocacy and services. NYTWA has increased drivers’ incomes by 35%-45%, secured over $15 million in emergency aid to drivers, and provided pro bono or discounted legal, financial management, and health services to over 10,000 drivers and families.
We are committed to a progressive, internationalist, democratic labor movement that stands in steadfast solidarity with workers’ movements of the U.S. and around the world.