On October 9, members of the IWW Chicago branch participated in the city’s local action for #DignityAtDarden, a national day of solidarity with former and current employees of Darden Restaurants.
I showed up
late on activist time, but was still able to join in the chanting picketers outside of Darden-owned Capital Grille (633 N St Clair St) and listen to Darden workers give their personal testimonies about their deplorable workplace treatment.
#DignityAtDarden is a campaign by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United. ROC Chicago is, in their own words, “a member led restaurant workers’ organization” that “build[s] power and voice for restaurant workers” through workplace justice campaigns, trainings, and research/policy work.
In my own words, ROC Chicago are a kickass group that I’m excited to have gotten to meet. They definitely brought the energy and enthusiasm to the picket – not to mention the preparation. Gotta love a group with plenty of signs, chant sheets, and aprons/chef hats.
After the action, we were invited to come hang out at ROC Chicago’s Washington Street HQ before going out for a few drinks – and yes, all of the Wobblies in attendance made the “I Want Whiskey” joke at least once.
In all seriousness, I’d like to see more collaboration between the IWW Chicago GMB and ROC Chicago. They’ve already been a great source of solidarity and support for the Chicago Freshii Workers Union #FightFreshii campaign, and from what I could tell based on side conversations at the Darden action, we’re in the perfect spot to introduce or further the conversation about solidarity unionism, radical anticapitalism, and the IWW to more Chicago restaurant workers via ROC.
We could definitely also learn a thing or two about group cohesion and office organization from ROC members – why don’t we have a white board?
That’s all I got for this reportback!
Til next time,