Forging identifications, misleading government agencies and defrauding taxpayers – it’s all in a day’s work for the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC). ROC, which spends the majority of its time preaching that restauranteurs should take the “high road” and employ “ethical” practices, stooped to a not-so-new low this week when they forged IDs, trespassed, and possibly violated the Illinois statute for theft when they decided not to pay the $55 entrance to enter the National Restaurant Association convention in Chicago.
This same organization has been under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives for its “history of intimidation towards opponents and management problems,” and the group was also sued by its own members for, among other things: expelling members who voiced views that “differed from those of the leadership and staff of ROC-NY,” “engaging in a campaign of intimidation and expulsion of members” and “intentionally failing to pay plaintiffs a minimum wage.” This Chicago action was not undertaken by a group of volunteer activists. The taxpayer-supported founder and director, Saru Jayaraman, is front and center in the Chicago Tribune’s photograph.
Whatever its political beef, ROC needs a lesson in taking the “high road” and engaging in constructive political dialogue, but of course constructive discourse isn’t their end goal. ROC scamming its way into the restaurant convention proves, once again, that this union-front group will stop at nothing to achieve its goals of smearing the restaurant industry to advance its labor organizing interests. It’s worth noting that the 65,000 paying attendees, seemed disinterested – if not annoyed – by a smear campaign that continues to backfire on this activist organization.