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January 21, 2005

Street Heat in the Restaurant Industry

A nice profile in the NY Times of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), which I mentioned a couple of days ago, and its executive director, Saru Jayaraman. As the article says:

The center is on a roll. This fall, it plans to open a restaurant, Colors, on Lafayette Street near Astor Place, to be owned and governed by workers. On Tuesday, the center is set to release what it describes as a groundbreaking report on the state of the restaurant industry.
But like any good organizer, Saru wants the attention on the worker members, not herself, and criticized the reporter for doing this kind of personality profile:
"As an organizer, I don't think that this is appropriate," she says somewhat sternly. "The point is that restaurant workers lead their own struggles for justice. I'm just a spark in the fire."
Always the dilemma for organizers dealing with the press. They want personality more than substance, and Saru has a good story (read it), so that's the hook to get more publicity on the bad employer actions in the restaurant industry.

As long as they spell the organization's name right :)

Posted by Nathan at January 21, 2005 07:23 AM