On World Food Day - Saturday, October 16th - the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New Orleans was joined by dozens of grassroots activists from around the country from the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) in a street protest in front of the well-known Tony Moran’s Restaurant located at 240 Bourbon St. in the French Quarter.
Farmers, fisherfolk, farm workers, urban agriculturalists, restaurant workers, indigenous people, and food justice advocates gathered in New Orleans to launch the US Food Sovereignty Alliance on October 16 in solidarity with restaurant workers at Tony Moran’s. The Alliance seeks to “turn the tables” on the broken food system by restoring power to communities to govern their own food systems, limit and regulate corporate control, and stop damaging US foreign policy that undermines the ability of other countries to provide for themselves.
Jose Oliva, in this piece on the ROC United site, says:
The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the New Orleans economy, growing even during the current economic crisis. However, the vast majority of workers in this industry suffer sub-poverty wages and poor working conditions. The USFSA-ROC-NOLA action is intended to highlight the current struggle of fifteen former Tony Moran’s and Jean Lafitte’s servers, food runners, bussers and managers who started a workplace justice campaign and filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in 2009, for wage theft, misappropriation of tips, racial discrimination, being forced to work off the clock and many other egregious acts.
The affected group has tried to resolve the matter amicably, but the company has refused to respond to their request. This action is part of a year-long series of weekly actions held by the workers in hopes that the owner would rectify the wrong-doing. The US Food Sovereignty Alliance is committed to supporting food system worker rights and supports ROC-NOLA’s efforts.
When the dignity of one food worker is harmed, much less fifteen, we stand in solidarity!
Here is a 35 second video at the rally --