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Sung Yeon Choi-Morrow
 First Action Reflection

7/19/2011

by Brian Cheney

who is a second year M.Div student at Yale Divinity School and currently interning at Jobs for Justice in Toledo, Ohio.

I have never been to an action before, so I was pretty pumped about this. When we walked into the Park Hyatt, the doorman was so happy to see us. He held the door wide open with a huge smile on his face. I got goosebumps bad once that happened and they didn't go away for the whole afternoon.

We were kicked out pretty instantly. It's amazing how security just materializes out of nowhere. You walk into a hotel, and you never see even one 6'4" guy in a suit with an earpiece. But in less than two minutes there were about 5 of them, very upset-looking. It was nice to see the Hyatt take us seriously.

Then at the Hyatt Regency we stood with workers who had been on strike as of that morning. This was really cool too. Amidst all the yelling and screaming, a necessary part of the action, I tried to maintain a prayerful attitude and mindset. This is a kind of "praying with the feet," which we discussed. I think it takes practice, but I felt that it was successful. When people are marching at the same pace, chanting at the same time, united by the same cause, I think a certain unity of spirit is manifested physically, and that is powerful stuff. That is what makes this more than a political issue to me; that is what makes this spill over into the life of my faith and hopefully the life of my faith spills over into what I do all summer long.

Comments (187)  |  Permalink


Joan Flanagan
 Celebrating 15 years of winning victories for workers

7/13/2011

The founder of Chicago organizing Saul Alinsky used to say, “You can tell the caliber of an organization by the quality of its celebrations.”  I’m sure he would have awarded Interfaith Worker Justice’s 15th Anniversary Celebration an A+.  Everyone from the 350 Conference delegates returning from Monday’s action at three Hyatt Hotels to 100 special friends of IWJ had a wonderful time celebrating 15 years of fighting for justice.

 

Organized by a great committee led by loyal IWJ supporter Fran Sullivan and former IWJ Development Associate Simintha Esson, the Celebration was a chance for Chicago area friends of IWJ to share the excitement of the Conference.  They enjoyed Mexican labor and justice songs by nationally recognized educator and entertainer Jesus “Chuy” Negrete. 

 

 

 

Chris Inserra led members of the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ  in union classics like Step by Step and Ella’s song and everyone joined in on We Shall Not Be Moved/No Nos Moveran and, of course, Solidarity Forever.

 

 

 

IWJ Board Member Reverend  Jim Sessions shared how he first met Kim Bobo at the Pittston Coal Mine Strike when she came to Virginia to help organize faith leaders to support the thousands of coal mine families on strike.  He introduced Kim, who then praised all the people involved with the action at the Hyatt Hotels.  Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis saluted IWJ’s work on Wage Theft in a video specially prepared for the Celebration.  As the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U. S. Cabinet, Solis carries the concerns of the working poor.

Dani Samons, the Conference Celebration Coordinator, had organized IWJ’s first silent auction with 63 unique items such as a Thai dinner at Kim Bobo’s, lunch in DC and a visit to the Newseum with Board Member Ros Pelles, lithographs of Jacob Lawrence’s silkscreen “Swearing In” donated by Board Member Jules Bernstein, and the most popular item, a gorgeous oil painting of the Chicago skyline at night by Adler  School intern Brittany Nalley.


A reunion of current and former IWJ staff
Photos by Kristi Sanford www.lightonlifeimages.com

Special kudos go to Regina Botterill, the very first employee of Interfaith Worker Justice (Kim Bobo was #2), who began to search for the “First Fifteen” employees of IWJ, and ended up with a list of 38 former employees!  Eighteen former employees had a ball at the party and vowed to create an IWJ Alumni Association so they can keep in touch with IWJ and each other.

Thanks to Committee Members Nancy Burke, Regina Botterill, Kristin Kumpf, Tina Herpe, Board Member John Howard who hosted the evaluation party, Craig Mousin, Kristi Sanford who took photographs,   and Jennifer Barger Williamson who recruited the terrific choir.  IWJ’s Individual Outreach Coordinator Cathy Junia prepared an excellent video covering IWJ’s first 15 years.  Volunteers Kim Harrington and Mike Gorman helped with checkout, Jane Beckett helped with the silent auction, and Joe Barabe did wonderful photographs.  We are already planning another great event for 2013.

Topics: Fundraising
Comments (136)  |  Permalink


Joan Flanagan
 Seven Ways IWJ Helps the Local Organizations that Help Low Wage Workers

5/2/2011

There are 65 local and statewide organizations around the country affiliated with IWJ. Roughly 40 of these independent groups are religion-labor coalitions. There are also 25 worker centers in IWJ's growing network from California to Maine, which work directly with low-wage workers. While each religion-labor coalition or worker center does excellent, life-changing work on its own, all are also more effective because they are part of IWJ's network.

Here are seven ways that IWJ helps these local city, county, and state groups:

(1) IWJ connects local groups with one another and across state borders. For example, Rev. C. J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago, went to Madison to assist Rabbi Renee Bauer, Executive Director of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin, during the mass demonstrations in support of public employees in Wisconsin in March and April this year. Rev. Hawking described the feeling in worship services inside the Capitol rotunda in her moving article "A People's Cathedral in Wisconsin."Response Madison photo

Results:

  • More than 400 religious leaders state-wide signed a statement in support of a just solution.
  • More than 120 religious leaders marched together in a rally of 100,000 supporters.
  • Seventeen religious leaders wearing stoles, collars and yarmulkes stood ready to risk arrest in a civil disobedience action with hundreds of occupiers of the Capitol.
  • Hundreds of clergy preached on the importance and power of the average citizen acting on behalf of the common good.


(2) IWJ shares the best practices from one worker center to another. They are connected in regular meetings and a monthly phone call with Dianne Enriquez, IWJ's Worker Center Network Coordinator. IWJ's 2011 National Conference this June will provide the venue for religion-labor and worker center leaders to connect in workshops, actions, celebration, prayer, and informal networking.

Women's Retreat(3) IWJ helps build strong local leaders. In February, Dianne Enriquez convened a meeting of 25 women leaders at "Safe Spaces: Women Retreat" to share their experiences, both good and bad, as leaders for worker justice. As one participant said, "It is not often that a national or base group takes the time to create space to discuss women-focused issues or strategize on how to develop female-based leadership." They left with a plan for four strategies to continue their commitment to help each other.

(4) IWJ can consolidate the good works of the religion-labor coalitions and worker centers to build a movement to change public policy, especially at the federal level. When IWJ Executive Director Kim Bobo testifies before a congressional committee on issues like wage theft, immigration, or health and safety, she is carrying the concerns of all the members of the network.

(5) In times of crisis, IWJ can be the first responder to help an affiliate group strengthen its religious support. For example, when the Ohio state legislature ambushed public worker unions with anti-worker legislation in March, IWJ staffers Aina Gutierrez and Honna Eichler flew to Columbus to help IWJ's affiliate there organize a meeting of local religious leaders literally overnight. They had 10 clergy at the table by 10:00 am the next morning. The Columbus affiliate is now exploring ways to develop a permanent religious outreach committee.

(6) IWJ can reach out to large national funders to solicit larger grants for the networks that individual local organizations would not get on their own. National foundations trust IWJ to regrant funds to the religion-labor groups and worker centers to achieve positive outcomes for low-wage workers. Foundations such as Ford, Kellogg, Public Welfare, and OSHA's Susan Harwood Training Grant Program have funded IWJ to support the work and training for our local affiliates doing great work on the ground.

(7) IWJ helps to foster the growth and development of local organizations. Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Executive Director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County, recalled when Regina Botterill and Kim Bobo came out in 1998 to partner with other local groups to start the San Diego Affiliate. Coskey notes:

"Fourteen years ago IWJ gave one of several $5,000 grants that helped us get started. It was so helpful to have their staff and their materials to help us grow. Today we are one of the largest Religion/Labor Coalitions with an operating budget of more than $350,000. San Diego uses IWJ's materials all year round. Their staff helps us in framing national messages and their national convocations let us meet with organizers for all over the country."

If you would like to support this work of IWJ's, which will multiply the value of your work through 65 affiliates and worker centers, and through them to tens of thousands of workers, please donate online or contact Joan Flanagan, IWJ's Development Director, jflanagan@iwj.org or 773-728-8400 x 27.

Comments (152)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
 What Immigrant Workers Can Teach Us about Democracy

4/29/2011

Apostolidis book coverWhat can immigrant workers teach America about democracy?

On April 18, Interfaith Worker Justice and Arise Chicago teamed up with the political scientist Paul Apostolidis to explore this question at a thought-provoking event for his new book Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach America about Democracy held at the Harold Washington Library Center.

An audio recording of the event is available here, but it doesn't do justice to the multilayered texture of the presentation, a PowerPoint rich with photograhs and quotations from workers, from advertisements, from social theorists, and other sources. A video will be available soon -- check back for that.

As the publisher's website says of Breaks in the Chain, the book:

investigates the personal life stories of a group of Mexican immigrant meatpackers who are at once typical and extraordinary. After crossing the border clandestinely and navigating the treacherous world of the undocumented, they waged a campaign to democratize their union and their workplace in the most hazardous industry in the United States. ... Examining their personal narratives, Apostolidis recasts our understanding of the ways immigrants construct and transform social power. ... Linking stories of immigration to stories about working on the meat production line--the chain--he reveals the surprising power of activism by immigrant workers and their allies and demonstrates how it can-and should-promote social and political democracy in America.


I was honored to give the introduction at the event. Shelly Ruzicka of Arise Chicago provided a wonderful overview of the work that organization does defending the rights of immigrant workers in the city.

Following the event, Shelly and Gabriela Rivero (Arise Chicago's Worker Center Member Organizer ) and I joined Paul for this photo outside the library.

If you'd like to read the book, please consider purchasing it online from the Seminary Co-Operative Bookstore, one of the event's co-sponsors, by going here. It's a compelling and relevant book.

Also check out Paul's recent blog post "Working conditions, the battle at Tyson, and the Wisconsin moment".

Topics: Immigration
Comments (151)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
 Reclaiming Our Democracy: Money, Politics and the Fall of the Middle Class

4/19/2011

Common Cause - Holding Power Accountable    

Topics: Faith Advocates for Jobs
Comments (172)  |  Permalink


Thom Shellabarger
+  What a way to run a country!

4/1/2011

A headline in today's USA Today pretty much says it all: CEO pay soars while workers' pay stalls The article tells of corporate executives getting huge pay raises and increased benefits while unemployed ...
Comments (162)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Stand Up for Worker Rights and Democracy April 1-4

3/22/2011

IWJ has produced a set of resources for the April 1-4 We Are One Days of Action - prayers, sermons, a bulletin insert, and pieces on what congregations, students, and worker centers can do to take part ...
Comments (202)  |  Permalink


Thom Shellabarger
+  The Forgotten Millions on Desperation Row

3/18/2011

When I read Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times about the "forgotten millions" I immediately thought about the Republicans, who haven't only forgotten about the unemployed but are putting ...
Topics: Faith Advocates for Jobs
Comments (156)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Standing With the Unemployed: A Congregational Toolkit on Faith & Jobs

3/17/2011

In December IWJ launched Faith Advocates for Jobs, a campaign aimed at tackling the unemployment crisis through national advocacy, educational outreach, and organizing unemployed worker support committees ...
Topics: Faith Advocates for Jobs
Comments (178)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  We Must Stand on the Side of Laborers' Rights

3/8/2011

Rev. Frank Raines III is a member of IWJ's Board of Directors and is the pastor of Dexter Avenue Church in Detroit. He wrote the following statement in his role as Director and Chairman of the Labor ...
Comments (134)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Join us to Celebrate!

3/1/2011

You've helped us build the movement.Join us to celebrate! Benefiting 15 years of Interfaith Worker Justice. We invite you to celebrate with us to honor leaders in the worker justice movement and to ...
Comments (145)  |  Permalink


Claudia Henriquez
+  Fight Back Against OSHA Budget Cuts!

3/1/2011

Now is the time to contact your Senators to save OSHA from crippling budget cuts passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Contacting your Senators is very simple -- just go here, look up your Senators, ...
Comments (169)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Immigrant Construction Workers Routinely Injured

2/14/2011

IWJ's Executive Director Kim Bobo has a pointed Letter to the Editor in today's Chicago Tribune in response to a harrowing article about an undocumented immigrant worker who became quadriplegic as a result ...
Comments (150)  |  Permalink


Honna Eichler
+  Call for Papers: Interfaith Theological Symposium on Economic Justice

2/8/2011

Call for PapersInterfaith Theological Symposium On Economic Justice Interfaith Worker Justice invites graduate students from all faith traditions to submit a paper proposal for an Interfaith Theological ...
Comments (129)  |  Permalink


Aina Gutierrez
+  Remembering Rev. Emmett Jarrett

1/26/2011

One of the joys of working at Interfaith Worker Justice is seeing the nurturing and development of new religious leaders who will go out and do God's work. Another joy is remembering those who spend their ...
Comments (124)  |  Permalink


Jonathan Currie
+  Regional Convening - Join IWJ January 27-28 in New Orleans

1/12/2011

Dear Friends, Interfaith Worker Justice is hosting a Regional Convening of faith and justice organizations January 27-28 in New Orleans at First Church New Orleans (UUC) - 5212 S. Claiborne Avenue. ...
Comments (126)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Invest in Future Victories for Workers

12/9/2010

2010 has been a challenging year for workers. Many have given up on a vision of full employment, fair pay for workers, and decent benefits. While it is tempting to give in to that sense of hopelessness ...
Comments (123)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Wage Theft Toolkit 2.0

11/4/2010

We've completely revamped our Toolkit on Wage Theft and made it available for downloading here. Here's the Table of Contents: National Day of Action Against Wage Theft - November 18 What You Can DoSample/Template ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (130)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Three Useful Resources to Fight Wage Theft

11/2/2010

A newly revised Wage Theft Toolkit will be available for downloading on IWJ's website very soon. Here are three pieces from the Toolkit that are useful to have as stand-alone documents:   National ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (122)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  What You Can Do on the National Day of Action Against Wage Theft

10/26/2010

Here are several things you -- individually, your organization, your congregation -- can do to participate in IWJ's National Day of Action Against Wage Theft: • Highlight national anti-wage ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (125)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is: IWJ Supports Justice for Tobacco Farmworkers

10/25/2010

Some of you may know (though some of you may not know) that the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) has has called for a boycott of and divestment from JPMorgan Chase. As FLOC explains the campaign:   JP ...
Comments (109)  |  Permalink


Kristin Kumpf
+  National Immigration Update!

10/5/2010

This past Wednesday, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010. The bill retains several elements ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (111)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  IWJ's New DC Office

10/5/2010

IWJ's presence in the national policy arena is about to see dramatic growth. As of October, IWJ now has a new DC office headed up by two veterans of religion and justice work. The Rev. Paul Sherry is ...
Comments (162)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  IWJ's Second Annual Wage Theft National Day of Action -- November 18

9/29/2010

Interfaith Worker Justice is organizing another Wage Theft National Day of Action in more than 50 cities across the nation to highlight the ongoing crisis and the need for vigorous local, county, state, ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (185)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Join us in standing up against anti-Muslim vitriol

9/16/2010

With the wave of anti-Muslim vitriol currently permeating the airwaves and Internet, it is imperative that people of conscience take a stand. As people of faith, we reject this hate. Please join us in ...
Topics: Popular Education
Comments (171)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Keeping Faith in Labor on this Labor Day and Everyday

8/31/2010

The US Department of Labor has a blog called "Keeping Faith in Labor." Rev. Phil Tom has a nice post just in time for Labor Day.  He writes, "As a clergy member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign | Labor in the Pulpits | Employee Free Choice Act | Popular Education
Comments (121)  |  Permalink


Ted Smukler
+  Profits up, workers' wages down

8/11/2010

I read an article a couple of weeks ago in The New York Times, which showed that companies are seeing surges in profits through shrinking their workforces. Harley Davidson's profits are triple what they ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (96)  |  Permalink


+  Wage theft law passes in Illinois

8/5/2010

Exciting news as the anti-wage theft movement continues to gain momentum. The law is one of the strongest in the nation and will go in effect on January 1, 2011. It allows the Illinois state DOL the power ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (110)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Labor in the Pulpits 2010

8/2/2010

IWJ has new 2010 resources for Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar ready to be downloaded: A Prayer for All Workers Bulletin Insert Labor in the BimahBy Rabbi Brant Rosen, spiritual ...
Topics: Labor in the Pulpits
Comments (108)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  IWJ on the Frontlines in Arizona

8/2/2010

Dan Moore of the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center (an IWJ affiliate) marching in Phoenix on July 29, the day SB 1070 was scheduled to go into effect, during IWJ's National Weekend of Prayer & ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (107)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Historic Rest Break Ordinance Passes in Austin!

7/30/2010

Wonderful news from the Workers Defense Project/Proyecto Defensa Laboral in Austin, Texas (an affiliate of IWJ's national network of worker centers):Immediately as of July 29th, construction employers ...
Comments (195)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Huckabee Tone Deaf on Immigration-America is Like Disney World

7/22/2010

Great post from The Plum Line- Mike Huckabee was asked whether he supports the anti-immigrant law in Arizona. He dodged the question and then gave a wimpy reference to Disney World. He said "It's not ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (95)  |  Permalink


David Valenta
+  IWJ’s Organizing for Worker Justice Training

7/5/2010

Save the Date for IWJ's Organizing for Worker Justice Training!Dates: October 3-7, 2010 Are you a...• board member, leader, or volunteer of an interfaith organization?• organizer with a faith-based ...
Comments (107)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Trying to get by on $8.75 an hour

6/28/2010

Last week the Chicago Tribune published an editorial bearing the polemical title "Say 'yes' to jobs: Chicago's City Council must brave union backlash and approve Wal-Mart deal". IWJ board member Rev. ...
Comments (83)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Union busting techniques at work!

6/18/2010

When I worked at a state university a few years ago I saw the raw deal that adjunct professors had. A majority of them didn't hold full-time jobs elsewhere. They weren't hired to teach a single course ...
Comments (84)  |  Permalink


+  Labor in the Pulpits!

5/24/2010

Every year for the past twelve years, Interfaith Worker Justice has joined with thousands of congregations across the country for the "Labor in the Pulpits" , a program that focuses on the plights of ...
Comments (113)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Push back on the anti-immigration law

5/13/2010

The Chicago Tribune religion reporter yesterday blogged that "Clergy condemn anti-immigration law, demand reform." Yet, the religious response isn't enough to overcome the racist, fearful reaction from ...
Comments (97)  |  Permalink


+  The Faith Community and the Jobs Crisis

5/12/2010

Yesterday, policy and denominational staff from faith communities including the United Methodist Church , the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Religious Action Center of ...
Comments (86)  |  Permalink


Kristin Kumpf
+  "You look like an illegal"

5/6/2010

I had a distressing conversation today with the director of our affiliated group in Phoenix, the Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice. Trina (Rev. Trina Zelle, the group's lead organizer) shared ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (171)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Arizona's awful immigration law

5/5/2010

As you can imagine, we have been talking a lot about the racist and draconian new immigration law in California. We knew this was coming...  Ten other states are considering Arizona-style immigration ...
Comments (80)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Illinois House Passes Wage Theft Bill

4/29/2010

The Illinois House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at strengthening the state's ability to fight wage theft. A recent University of Illinois-Chicago study brought new attention to the prevalence ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (85)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  How has the economic climate impacted your faith community?

4/16/2010

Interfaith Worker Justice has a question for you: How has the current economic climate impacted your faith community? We have developed a congregational survey to answer that question. Please take five ...
Comments (68)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  IWJ and Arise Chicago Join Hilda Solis at the National Launch of DOL's New Campaign

4/7/2010

Left to right: Fr. Brendan Curran, Pastor of St. Pius V, a Catholic parish in Chicago; Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago; U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis; and IWJ Executive Director ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (72)  |  Permalink


Kim Bobo
+  Pray for the Dead, Fight for the Living

4/6/2010

Mother Jones is often quoted as saying, "Pray for the Dead, Fight like hell for the Living." The 25 miners who lost their lives in the Upper Big Branch mining disaster call us to both prayer and activism. We ...
Comments (88)  |  Permalink


+  No Easy Solutions

3/10/2010

Bob Herbert's recent New York Times column "The Source of Obama's Trouble" pointedly addresses the Obama administration's response -- or lack thereof -- to the problem of unemployment and job loss in ...
Comments (58)  |  Permalink


+  Workers need more rights on the job, not a CBS TV show.

2/8/2010

Yesterday, after the Super Bowl, CBS previewed a new program "Undercover Boss." The premise of the program, for those who did not get to see it, is that corporate executives will go "undercover" as regular ...
Comments (66)  |  Permalink


Ted Smukler
+  Partnering to Protect Workers: U.S. Department of Labor Reaches Out to IWJ Worker Centers

2/1/2010

If you were to ask any worker in the U.S. what the IRS does, chances are most folks would have a good idea and would also know that the IRS goes after people who fail to honestly report their income. ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (80)  |  Permalink


+  Organizing against wage theft and fasting for immigrant rights in Florida

1/13/2010

It may be cold outside in southern Florida, but South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice (SFIWJ) is turning up the heat with its momentous work on immigrant rights and wage theft. Yesterday SFIWJ and ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign | Immigration
Comments (98)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Faith Leaders Ask Sen. Nelson to Support Alternative Abortion Language

12/18/2009

A group of over two dozen Nebraskan clergy and faith leaders have come together as signatories on a letter to Senator Nelson, asking him to support Senator Casey's proposed alternative language on abortion ...
Comments (66)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Nebraska Faith Leaders Appeal Senator Nelson on Health Care

12/11/2009

Senator Ben Nelson440 North 8th Street Suite 120Lincoln, NE 68508Fax: (402) 476-8753   Dear Honorable Senator Nelson: We represent diverse communities of faith from across the state of Nebraska. ...
Comments (74)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  40 Events Across the Country on IWJ’s National Day to Stop Wage Theft!

12/3/2009

On November 19, workers, allies, faith leaders and public officials in communities from coast to coast mobilized for IWJ's National Day of Action to Stop Wage Theft! In Houston, 40 people rode a Justice ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (68)  |  Permalink


Kristin Kumpf
+  "We need to get across the finish line!" Reflections from a White House meeting on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

9/30/2009

On August 20, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, along with top DHS and White House officials, held a meeting at the White House with 100 faith, labor, business, legal, ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (90)  |  Permalink


+  Progressive "Values Voters"

9/22/2009

This article from Politics Daily speaks volumes about the debate going on in our country. What is striking is that the "God Gap" that used to exist between the conservative evangelicals and Catholics ...
Comments (63)  |  Permalink


+  We look forward to working with the new team at the AFL-CIO

9/18/2009

Staff and board members from Interfaith Worker Justice just returned from the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We were fortunate to attend the President's address to the delegates, and ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign | Employee Free Choice Act
Comments (73)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  A World of Hurt

9/15/2009

Bracing column by Bob Herbert in today's New York Times. Now, with the financial sector stabilized and economists predicting that the Great Recession is nearing an end, the sighs of relief coming out ...
Comments (81)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Obama's health care speech tonight and a death panel of one

9/9/2009

The President addresses a joint session of Congress tonight to lay out his plan for health care reform. After months of misinformation and manufactured outrage from right wing Americans, and their puppeteers, ...
Comments (72)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Talking about Labor in the Pulpits

9/3/2009

IWJ held a press conference call (or telephonic press conference) this morning about our Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar program, in which more than 1,000 religious congregations across ...
Comments (63)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Lost Decade for Workers under 35

9/1/2009

The AFL-CIO has just released a bracing report revealing a “lost decade” not just for teenagers trying to earn spending money, but for workers 35 and under. The economic crisis has hit these ...
Comments (59)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Senator Kennedy was Dedicated to Economic Justice

8/28/2009

Senator Kennedy was a champion of economic justice. His legacy in the United States Senate was driven by a passion for helping workers by supporting and authoring a long line of legislation that brought ...
Comments (63)  |  Permalink


Danny Postel
+  Summer Issue of Faith Works Out

8/21/2009

The Summer issue of IWJ's quarterly print newsletter, Faith Works, is out and chock full of good stuff! While the hard copy makes its way to readers in the mail, you can access most of the contents ...
Comments (56)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  It's Time to Confirm Wage and Hour Division Nominee

8/21/2009

Federal Labor Department officials recently announced that they will hire 150 more investigators in the Wage and Hour division to protect against wage theft.  It is important to note that Lorelei ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (66)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
 Barney Frank at Town Hall Meeting Discusses Health Care

8/19/2009

The misinformation that  has been spread about the health care bill is disheartening. I applaud Congressman Barney Frank for his response yesterday at a town hall forum in Dartmouth, Mass. At one point he asked a woman holding sign depicting President Obama as Hitler "What planet do you spend most of your time on?"

 

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Danny Postel
+  Labor in the Pulpits

8/4/2009

  A joint project of Interfaith Worker Justice and the AFL-CIO, Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar has helped thousands of congregations focus their Labor Day weekend services on the ...
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Cynthia Brooke
+  Unemployment at Highest Rates Since Great Depression

7/23/2009

A recent article in Dollars and Sense magazine reports that according to comprehensive research, the unemployment rate is at its highest since 1931. The official unemployment rate is 9.4% as of April ...
Topics: Popular Education
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Danny Postel
+  Just what the doctor ordered!

7/15/2009

Our friends at In These Times magazine have launched a major new group blog on labor. The blog - Working In These Times - is fast becoming a must-read clearinghouse for labor news and commentary in ...
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Cynthia Brooke
+  One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on Immigration Policy

7/9/2009

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 The Obama administration’s shifting policy on undocumented workers is cause for ambivalence. In contrast to the brutal ...
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Danny Postel
+  A Construction Worker in Texas Dies Every 2.5 Days

7/8/2009

The Workers Defense Project / Proyecto Defensa Laboral in Austin, Texas -- a member of IWJ's national network of worker centers -- has issued a stinging indictment of the appallingly dangerous conditions ...
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Danny Postel
+  The corporate campaign to kill the Employee Free Choice Act

7/8/2009

The July issue of Harper's features an important article titled "Labor's last stand: The corporate campaign to kill the Employee Free Choice Act" by the magazine's outstanding Washington Editor, Ken ...
Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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Jonathan Currie
+  A meeting with Senator Kohl's staff

5/21/2009

Earlier this month, members of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin met with Senator Herb Kohl's staff in Madison to discuss the Employee Free Choice Act, and to thank ...
Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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Danny Postel
+  New Issue of Faith Works Out

5/20/2009

If you get IWJ's quarterly print newsletter, Faith Works, you probably know that the new issue -- the Spring 2009 edition -- is now out. (If you haven't yet received your copy in the mail, it's on its ...
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Danny Postel
+  Online Forum on Wage Theft in America

5/13/2009

This week the TPM Café Book Club is hosting a fabulous running discussion of IWJ Executive Director Kim Bobo's Wage Theft in America. Commenting on the book are Dean Baker of the Center for Economic ...
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Cynthia Brooke
+  Department of Labor Should Get Increased Resources in 2010

5/11/2009

Last week the Obama Administration released its budget request for federal agencies in fiscal year 2010 (beginning October 2009). The Department of Labor, which has been severely under-resourced and ...
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Danny Postel
+  A Treasure of Labor Writing

5/8/2009

Congratulations to The Progressive magazine on turning 100 this year, and on the publication, to mark its centennial, of Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive Magazine, 1909-2009. What a wonderful ...
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Danny Postel
+  "We're going to be more robust in this area"

4/30/2009

Addressing a green jobs summit Wednesday -- just two days out from International Workers' Day -- Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said she is committed to ensuring that undocumented workers get paid for ...
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Danny Postel
+  Solis Promises Action on Wage Theft

4/30/2009

Back on March 26, Occupational Health & Safety magazine ran an article on its website titled "Solis Promises Action on 'Wage Theft'". It was at www.ohsonline.com/Articles/2009/03/23/Solis-Promises-Action-Against-Wage-Theft.aspx ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
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Cynthia Brooke
+  National Faith Groups Write to Congress to Ask for Support for the Employee Free Choice Act

4/27/2009

Yesterday, national faith-based organizations and denominational bodies came together in support of workers' rights and the Employee Free Choice Act. Thirty-nine groups from Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, ...
Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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Kristin Kumpf
+  Unions Come Together on Immigration

4/15/2009

Great news for low-wage workers! The two major U.S. labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, announced a plan to work together to support major reform of our immigration system. This would include ...
Topics: Immigration
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Danny Postel
+  Building the Interfaith Worker Justice Movement

4/13/2009

Over the years, IWJ has gotten its share of press. Members of our staff have been interviewed and quoted in a variety of media. (We archive the coverage of a recent vintage here.) But there's never ...
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Danny Postel
+  Not Our Department

4/9/2009

The Nation's outstanding Washington Editor, Chris Hayes, has a piece in the magazine's April 27 issue on the GAO's alarming report on the Department of Labor's failure to protect workers from wage theft. ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
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Cynthia Brooke
+  Unionization and Wages for Service-Sector Workers

4/7/2009

  The Center for Economic and Policy Research has released another great report showing that unionization helps raise wages for service-sector workers. We already know from CEPR that unions help ...
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Danny Postel
+  Mandated inaction? Inept by design?

3/31/2009

The GAO's devastating report on wage theft grabbed some headlines (though not nearly as many as it should have), from the New York Times to ABC News and TPM. At MotherJones.com, Jonathan Stein bracingly ...
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Cynthia Brooke
+  GAO undercover investigation

3/25/2009

I just read the transcript of six short calls from the Government Accounting Office undercover investigation into Wage Theft. I can't believe that people from the Wage and Hour Division said things like, ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
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Danny Postel
+  The Commons

3/18/2009

This has to be the best piece of political philosophy ever rendered in animated-video form. The New Press (publishers of Kim Bobo's Wage Theft in America) and OnTheCommons.org (which I'd not heard ...
Comments (43)  |  Permalink


+  Righteous indignation, anger and just plain ticked off.

3/17/2009

Righteous indignation, anger and just plain ticked off. That describes how I felt when I read about AIG's policy to pay out exorbitant bonuses to employees, even though they have received billions of ...
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Danny Postel
+  A New Sheriff in Town

3/16/2009

"To those who have for too long abused workers, put them in harm's way, denied them fair pay, let me be clear," our new Secretary of Labor declared at her swearing-in ceremony on Friday, "there is a new ...
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+  Jewish teaching is clear about worker treatment

3/16/2009

This past week, I joined a Loyola Alternative Spring Break group to spend a day with Unite HERE learning about the struggles of ex workers from the Congress Hotel. Workers from the Congress Hotel, here ...
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Kim Bobo
+  The Employee Free Choice act would deter wage theft

3/16/2009

I've been on the road almost every week since the beginning of the year talking about wage theft. In each and every presentation, I talk about how the Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for ...
Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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Cynthia Brooke
 The Job

3/12/2009

This video speaks for itself.

Comments (48)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
 Rachel Maddow Explains the Employee Free Choice Act

3/11/2009


Rachel Maddow gets it exactly right in this YouTube video. Hyperbolic warnings ---that's for sure.

The Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for employees to join a union. There are some companies that are against the Act because they want to make the process of joining a union very intimidating for workers.

The Act does not abolish the NLRB election process. As she points out, if employees still want an election, they can still do that. People get a choice.

Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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Cynthia Brooke
+  Wage Theft Expert Kim Bobo to Deliver Testimony

3/9/2009

Kim Bobo, Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice and the author of the recently-published Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid-And What We ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
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+  We stand with the people behind the numbers

3/6/2009

Today's unemployment numbers are staggering..... another 650,000 workers have joined the ranks of the unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics making the "official" unemployment rate over ...
Comments (51)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  New website with vital information on rights and protections during a job loss

3/3/2009

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has created a website, Can My Boss Do That? (www.CanMyBossDoThat.com),  which enables workers to understand their rights and protections and advocate for themselves. ...
Topics: Can My Boss Do That?
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Cynthia Brooke
+  Interfaith Worker Justice Calls for an End to All Workplace Immigration Raids

2/25/2009

US immigration agents raided the Yamato Engine Specialists factory in Bellingham, Washington on February 24, 2009. The plant employs approximately 100 workers who rebuild Japanese car engines and transmissions. ...
Topics: Immigration
Comments (62)  |  Permalink


+  Does America Still Need Labor Unions? Take a poll.

2/23/2009

How do we counter the unchecked corporate greed that has led us to the point of national economic turmoil? Well, great minds will be considering that question for years to come, however it is important ...
Topics: Employee Free Choice Act
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+  Students have a big impact on justice

12/5/2008

"Young people have always changed history. Young people led social change movements in the past. Young people are leading change now." These were Kim Bobo's opening words to more than 2,000 students during ...
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Danny Postel
+  In the Deep Heart's Core

11/12/2008

Today IWJ took its wage theft campaign straight to the source, holding an event for Executive Director Kim Bobo's new book on wage theft in the Department of Labor itself. As roughly a third of the book ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
Comments (56)  |  Permalink


Cynthia Brooke
+  Kim Bobo launches book tour in nation's capital

11/6/2008

Kim Bobo's book "Wage Theft in America" was released this week. She will launch her book tour in Washington D.C. November 11. Order your copy of Wage Theft in America HERE. ...
Topics: Wage Theft Campaign
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