Much is said about the great news of growth and development in Columbus, Ohio. Specifically in
core areas of development where there is a concerted effort to bring new people to the city to live,
eat at restaurants and take advantage of the growing number of businesses flourishing in the city.
At the same time, the Central Ohio Worker Center (COWC) is well aware of the disparities of
income and prosperity in the working class and poor of Columbus. In particular, there are many
workers who are not represented around their worker rights. Often, these workers have 2-4 jobs
that they juggle in order to survive. These workers often experience wage theft and worker
injustice. They have nowhere to go when this happens and many times fear losing their jobs if they
complain. Further, if there are issues in these work places, there is seldom empirical data to back
up worker claims.
COWC initiated a successful “soft launch” of our Restaurant Worker Survey in which we aim to collect information on pay, conditions, and workplace environment for workers in the restaurant industry. With small groups of volunteers canvassing high-volume restaurant areas before & after their shifts, COWC has collected over 50 completed surveys and is formulating plans for more volunteer recruitment and training to collect over 300 surveys in the spring/summer of 2017.
Administering this survey is accomplishing something that has never before been done in Columbus: focused outreach, information gathering, and organizing of workers in the restaurant industry.