The Restaurant Opportunities Center, a union front and ACORN knockoff, is extending its reach by working with labor groups to stage protests in 100 cities Thursday.
In a push for a higher minimum wage and more union members, ROC is also hiring a national campaign director to shepherd the center’s multimillion-dollar budget, partially plumped by taxpayer dollars.
Though registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a nonpartisan nonprofit, ROC is closely aligned with the Democratic Party and Big Labor, notably theService Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, said Mike Paranzino, spokesman for the group ROC Exposed.
With her insider credentials, ROC co-director Saru Jayaraman was at the White House in May to participate in an unannounced strategy session on raising the minimum wage.
Watchdog.org reported in August that ROC had a presence in a dozen cities. According to the center’s job posting, its new campaign director will supervise “22-23 local organizations around the country.”
Building on earlier protests at fast-food restaurants, ROC and its fellow travelers vow to mount demonstrations in 100 cities Thursday. Among the targets: Washington, D.C. and Boston, whose city councils are considering minimum wage hikes.
Seattle also figures to be a key battleground, as suburban voters narrowly approved a $15-an-hour “living” wage.
ROC officials didn’t respond to Watchdog’s questions, but Paranzino said, “Clearly, they’re gearing up in an aggressive way” ahead of the 2014 elections.