Restaurant Opportunities Center

ROC DC Lead Organizer

Washington, DC

Founded initially after September 11th, 2001, the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) has grown into a national organization with more than 18,000 low-wage restaurant worker members in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Chicago, Michigan, New Orleans, Pennsylvania, Seattle, and Washington, DC. In most regions, we are organizing restaurant workers, employers, and consumers to win ‘One Fair Wage’ legislation and ballot measures that will raise wages for restaurant workers and eliminate the lower wage for tipped workers, who are largely women.

Over the last 13 years, we have organized thousands of workers to win $10 million in misappropriated tips and wages and discrimination payments for low-wage workers, and significant policy changes in high-profile fine dining restaurant companies covering thousands of workers. We have partnered with 160 responsible restaurant owners to promote the 'high road' to profitability, and trained more than 5,000 restaurant workers to advance to livable wage jobs within the industry. We have also published thirty ground-breaking reports on the restaurant industry, obtaining significant media coverage, played an instrumental role in winning a statewide minimum wage increase and paid sick days for tipped workers, and initiated other policy campaigns at the local, state, and federal level. We own and operate restaurants called COLORS that serve as the home base for our workforce-development training and membership programs in New York and Detroit, and will be expanding COLORS to New Orleans, Washington DC, and Oakland in 2016.

We are looking for a dedicated employee who will lead ROC DC’s One Fair Wage policy campaign and Ballot efforts. The Lead Organizer will help build a new and evolving model in which connections made with workers online and through street outreach transform to real world relationships and actions. Under this individual’s mentorship, the workers will learn how to organize and mobilize their co-workers,. To win One Fair Wage policy measures, the Lead Organizer will also build relationships with a variety of employers, consumers, and other allies in the region.

ROC-DC Lead Organizer Responsibilities:

  • Grow and develop ROC DC’s worker membership and leadership significantly, creating a large and active enough worker base to: lead and win local ‘One Fair Wage’ campaigns; benefit from and justify the expansion of CHOW; and demonstrate power as a restaurant workforce in the DC Metropolitan region. This includes: conducting daily outreach to restaurant workers, and engaging worker leaders in doing the same; conducting political education with workers going through ROC’s CHOW job training program; identifying and developing worker leaders; collecting dues from worker leaders; and establishing and growing worker committees.
  • Work with the ROC’s management team, worker and employer members of ROC DC, and local allies to advance ‘One Fair Wage’ and support ROC’s national One Fair Wage policy efforts.
    • Provide strategic input to overall campaign and strategy;
    • Conduct individual and group meetings with workers to plan and implement the organizing campaigns;
    • Develop leadership and political consciousness among restaurant workers through trainings, relationship building, and shared experiences;
    • Motivate individual workers and groups of workers to take action;
    • Strategically identify and engage local community allies
  • Coordinate coalition of local organizations, employers, academics, attorneys, City officials, and workers to advance ‘One Fair Wage’ policy measures in the region.
  • Represent ROC to other institutions, press, and priority relationships and lead local implementation of national communications plans;

The Lead Organizer position is intended to be a senior-level, experienced position. The Lead Organizer will report directly to the Managing Director or one of his designees.


  • 5-7 years labor/community member organizing and base-building experience;
  • Experience coalition building, and understanding of member leadership development;
  • Experience in designing policy and policy campaigns;
  • Maintenance of a professional attitude and strong ethical practice and a willingness to learn and grow
  • Strong communication, leadership, and management skills;
  • Possess reliable transportation and willingness to travel extensively
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice; and significant experience working collaboratively with persons of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, ages, and sexual orientations
  • Restaurant work experience a plus; and
  • Fluency in oral and written Spanish strongly preferred.


  • Starting pay for the Program Manager is based on experience.
  • Generous benefits, including health and dental coverage, 401(k) plan, paid vacation, personal days, and holidays.

Please place the Title of the Position in the subject line of your email. Please send resume and cover letter to the attention of Diana Ramirez to rachel.t@rocunited.org

Women, people of color, and immigrants strongly encouraged to apply.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.