ROC - Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Restaurant Opportunities Center United

Massachusetts Lead Organizer

Based in Boston, MA

Founded initially after September 11th, 2001, the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) has grown into a national organization with more than 30,000 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 target 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 16 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 700 responsible restaurant owners to promote the 'high road' to profitability, and trained more than 8,000 restaurant workers to advance to livable wage jobs within the industry. We have also published forty 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 Oakland.

We are looking for a dedicated employee who will lead ROC MA ’s One Fair Wage policy campaign and eventually, implementation efforts. The Lead Organizer will help build ROC MA’s active and mobilized base of restaurant workers through street outreach, online organizing, our worker job training programs at COLORS, and legal representation. Under this individual’s mentorship, ROC MA staff and leaders 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- MA Lead Organizer Responsibilities:
Grow and develop ROC MA’s worker membership and leadership significantly. Create a large and active enough worker base to lead and win local ‘One Fair Wage’ campaigns, and then ensure implementation and enforcement of One Fair Wage. The Lead Organizer should make sure that ROC-MA is benefiting from and justifying the expansion of COLORS

Restaurant and our CHOW job training program at COLORS, by developing worker leaders from the hundreds of workers who go through our training programs. 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;
  • using our legal program to develop strategic workplace justice campaigns that support the One Fair Wage campaign;
  • 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 MA, and local allies to develop policy proposals that will advance ‘One Fair Wage’ in MA, and support ROC’s national One Fair Wage policy efforts.

  • Lead the development of overall campaign and strategy together with the Northeast Regional Director;
  • Conduct individual and group meetings with workers to plan and implement the organizing campaigns;
  • Develop leadership and political consciousness among restaurant workers through training, relationship building, and shared experiences;
  • Motivate individual workers and groups of workers to take action;
  • Strategically identify and engage local community allies
  • Coordinate a coalition of local organizations, employers, academics, attorneys, City, State and federal 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;
  • Supervise ROC MA’s part-time organizer, both in running our CHOW training program, and in general working to build a base of active and mobilized restaurant workers mobilizing for One Fair Wage.

The Lead Organizer position is intended to be a senior-level, experienced position. The Lead Organizer will report directly to the Northeast Regional Director.


  • 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.

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

To Apply
Please send résumé and cover letter to John O'Keefe at: johnpokeefe@hotmail.com.

O'Keefe Search
336-350-8337 office

O'Keefe Search is dedicated to building strength in progressive organizations and to helping social justice, labor, environmental and other progressive activists find the right job.

We work extensively with organizers, campaigners, communicators, researchers and their managers to help match candidates with their ideal jobs.

John O'Keefe has specialized in recruiting for positions in the labor and progressive movement for over fifteen years.

Prior to spending five years as Recruiting Director for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest and one of the most progressive local labor unions in the United States, he spent many years helping high tech companies grow and was acknowledged as one of the top recruiters in the United States. Besides running a highly successful search firm, he served as the President of the Texas Association of Personnel Consultants, the largest state association in the industry and as President of the Pinnacle Society, an organization of the top 75 recruiters in the United States.

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