Union bosses are not only taking advantage of forced dues, but taxpayer dollars, to promote their agenda. Eric Boehm has the story on reason.com.
Using a combination of federal grants and grants from left-leaning organizations, the Restaurant Opportunity Center, or ROC, is technically a charitable nonprofit and not a union. But their pro-worker messages, anti-employer protests and self-proclaimed goal of organizing service sector employees for the purposes of negotiating higher wages make ROC look and sound much like a labor union.
Some see their tactics as a deliberate attempt to skirt the nation’s labor laws. Only unions elected by a majority of a workplace can negotiate with employers on workers’ behalf, though ROC seems to be doing so in the absence of any election. According to tax filings for ROC United, the parent organization that has launched the smaller chapters operating in many cities, the group got $180,000 in government grants during 2010 and another $60,000 in similar grants during 2011. The group employs disruptive “mic-check” tactics made popular by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Take ROC’s July 25 action at the Capital Grille restaurant in midtown Manhattan.
On that day, during the usual lunch rush, a signal was given — and more than a dozen protesters stood at their tables and shouted their concerns to all within earshot. They were calling attention to what they said was an unfair minimum wage law that allows restaurants in New York City to pay their tipped workers only $5 per hour.
“Capital Grille, shame on you. Restaurant workers deserve fair pay too,” they chanted as they were escorted from the dining area.
“If we don’t get no justice, you don’t get no peace,” they chanted in unison.
Across the nation, minimum wage activists rallied outside Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Capital Grille restaurants – all of which are owned by the same parent company, Darden Inc. – to decry corporate lobbying they say puts a lid on the minimum wage for restaurant workers.