Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights

PREAMBLE

We are people from all walks of life, representing all races, ages, gender and sexual orientations, creeds, and cultures, working in the restaurant industry. We take great pride in our daily work and are proud of our profession that provides essential services in our communities. Our individual jobs vary greatly and are constantly evolving, but we are all skilled, caring professionals who devote our lives to feeding other working people, families, elderly, children, visitors, and all hungry people.

As restaurant workers we experience tremendous joy and camaraderie but also challenges in our professional lives. This bill of rights is a proclamation to build upon the universal human rights that transcend the special interests of corporations, governments, and other institutions.

In the spirit of our shared humanity and recognition that all people deserve to live prosperous lives with dignity, we demand codification of the restaurant workers’ rights.

THE RIGHT TO HEAL AND RECHARGE

Restaurant work is demanding on our bodies and our spirits. Moreover, we play an important role in keeping our communities healthy by staying at home when sick. In our roles as mothers and fathers we are raising our country’s future and shouldn’t have to always miss birthdays, holidays, and school plays. When we become parents, we deserve to be supported by our employers and government. As career professionals we need time to regularly recharge so we can come back to serve our communities and be productive and effective employees. We demand time to heal and recharge as well as consistent schedules that allow our families to thrive.

As restaurant workers we experience tremendous joy and camaraderie but also challenges in our professional lives. This bill of rights is a proclamation to build upon the universal human rights that transcend the special interests of corporations, governments, and other institutions.

In the spirit of our shared humanity and recognition that all people deserve to live prosperous lives with dignity, we demand codification of the restaurant workers’ rights.

THE RIGHT TO A THRIVING LIFE

The right to a quality life is a fundamental human right. As a society we have resources to take care of every human being, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or any other identifier. True freedom means economic freedom. Our work is important, demanding, and skilled, so our employment should enable us to thrive. We have the right to be paid a thriving wage, access universal childcare and healthcare, live in decent housing, and be economically secure in retirement.

THE RIGHT TO A HEALTHY, SAFE, AND WELCOMING WORK ENVIRONMENT

When we show up for work in restaurants and other food service establishments, we expect to focus on our craft, create art, and deliver superior service. We can only do it when we are safe—physically, emotionally, mentally, and legally. We come from all backgrounds and all corners of the world, which makes our community of restaurant professionals incredibly creative, curious, and caring. We deserve to be protected from discrimination and harassment. We have the right to be respected and valued regardless of how we identify or express or where we come from.

THE RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE & BODILY AUTONOMY

When we are healthy, we can be productive and thrive. Our employers, customers, and families benefit. Our decision to seek healthcare for ourselves or our families should never be driven by its cost or restrained by law. We demand that quality comprehensive healthcare is available when and where we need it and nobody is excluded.

THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN GOVERNANCE

Our work creates jobs and delivers nourishment to our communities. We believe in a participatory society, free of racism, sexism, authoritarianism, xenophobia, classism, and intolerance of any kind. To live fulfilling lives and have thriving communities, we are dedicated to exercise our rights as citizens, voters, activists, and organizers at all levels of government and at our workplaces. Free of pressure and coercion from employers, we have the right to practice democracy at and outside of work and for our voices to be heard.

SUPPORT THE RESTAURANT WORKERS BILL OF RIGHTS!

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