ROC-MI: Workplace Justice Organizer


Location: Detroit, MI

Type of Job: Full-Time-Position


The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York was initially founded in New York City by Fekkak Mamdouh and Saru Jayaraman after September 11th, 2001 to provide support to restaurant workers displaced as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy. Based on our successful efforts in New York City, restaurant workers in several other cities approached ROC about initiating chapters in their cities. Thus, in 2008 we launched the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which has grown into a national organization with over 25,000 low-wage restaurant worker members nationwide.

Since its founding, ROC United has won more than a dozen workplace justice campaigns, winning more than $10 million in misappropriated tips and wages and discrimination payments for low-wage workers, and significant policy changes in high-profile restaurant companies covering thousands of workers. We have played an instrumental role in winning statewide minimum wage increases for tipped workers, and other policy campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. ROC also partners with over 200 responsible restaurant owners to promote the ‘high road’ to profitability, has trained more than 5,000 restaurant workers to advance to livable-wage jobs within the industry, and has published over 30 ground-breaking reports and a nationally bestselling book on the restaurant industry

We currently have affiliates operating in Michigan, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Bay Area, Boston, New Orleans (Gulf Coast), Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, and Seattle   In each region, we conduct workplace justice campaigns, partner with ‘high road’ restaurants to conduct advance restaurant workforce development programs, and collaborate with local academics and other allies to produce comprehensive participatory research and policy initiatives. Nationally, we organize convening of restaurant workers, Congressional briefings, public fora, and more. In these ways, ROC continues to build power and voice for low-wage restaurant workers at the local, state, and federal levels.

Responsibilities Include:

The ROC-MI Workplace Justice Organizer (WPJO) is ROC-MI’s go to person for ongoing base-building activities.   This Organizer is a very important member of the ROC-MI and Colors Team.   This new hire will essentially be responsible for outreach, recruitment, retention, and active engagement of restaurant workers and high road employers in this movement for social and economic justice. He or she will support and participate in meetings with ROC MI staff, local board, and general membership as well as cultivate and maintain an ongoing relationship with community leaders, local clergy, civic and community organizations, labor, employment lawyers, elected officials and other stakeholders committed to workplace fairness and non-discrimination.

The WPJO Organizer is expected to use creative and strategic approaches to increase awareness of workplace justice issues and the mission of ROC. Activities of the Membership Organizer may include coordinating rallies, flash mobs, community forums, phone banks, door canvassing campaigns, etc. focused on educating ROC Membership and the community at large on the importance of advocating for social and economic justice and participating in political processes.  Thorough documentation of all activities and collection of any and all required data is key to the success of this position. The ROC-MI WPJO will be required to submit weekly reports as well to develop written narrative reports as needed. This dynamic organizer should have the ability to relate well to people of all economic, academic, cultural, and racial backgrounds. He or she must have reliable transportation and be prepared to work full time as well as be available for travel and some weekend activities.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Ability to quickly establish rapport and to follow through to completion on tasks;
  • Demonstrated leadership ability and coaching style reflecting compassion, wisdom, and integrity;
  • Commitment to improving the lives of racial minorities, women, and immigrant workers
  • Excellent project management skills and understanding of ROC’s three prong approach to accomplishing its mission;
  • A passion for excellence through leadership, teamwork, positive change and communication;
  • Strong interest in and commitment to social, economic and racial justice;
  • Keen research, documentation, data collection, and oral and written communication skills are essential;
  • Knowledge of Detroit/Michigan political landscape and social institutions;
  • 3-5 or more years of community or political organizing experience (required);
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited y institution in political science, community organizing, social justice, or combination of education and experience (required);
  • Fluency in oral and written Spanish or Arabic strongly preferred;
  • Previous experience in the restaurant industry strongly desired but not required.

.People of color and women are encouraged to apply.

Reports to:

ROC-MI State Director

Starting Salary:

$40,888.00 annually. This is a union position. Featured benefits include health and dental insurance.

Start Date:

June 19, 2017


How to Apply:

Please send a resume and cover letter to   Please indicate “Work Place Justice Organizer” in the subject line of your email.


Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Michigan


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