Interfaith Worker Justice is actively involved in several issues important to working people, especially low wage workers.
Employee Free Choice Act
The right to form and join trade unions is a basic human right and long-standing U.S. policy; it is also a right affirmed by most religious denominations as essential for upholding human dignity. However, companies frequently launch massive, well-funded campaigns to fight organization efforts. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would ensure that when a majority of employees in a workplace decide to form a union, they could do so without the harassment, intimidation, illegal firings, and other tactics that employers now use to block workers' free choice.
Interfaith Worker Justice believes that forming unions and joining workers' centers are the best ways for workers to defend and enforce their rights. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) was established to defend workers and enforce important labor law, including wage and hour regulations, health and safety, and affirmative action law. But the federal commitment to labor law enforcement and workers' rights has been eroding steadily since the late 1970s. IWJ has been a watchdog of the DOL and an advocate for strong enforcement of labor and employment laws.
Paid Sick Days
More than half of American workers in the private sector cannot take a paid sick day. They must go to work sick, or risk losing a day's pay or even their jobs. Read on for more information on the issue and how you can help.
Immigrant Workers and Immigration Reform
Interfaith Worker Justice advocates for justice for all workers in the U.S.-native-born citizens, legal residents, and those who are forced to live and work in the shadows, undocumented workers and their families. Here are links to materials for educational activities at the congregational level and resources to take action for comprehensive immigration reform and to support all low-wage workers.
All work has value, all workers have dignity, and no job should pay a poverty wage. The minimum wage is meant to be a floor that will support workers' basic needs. Therefore, the minimum wage should be raised to the level of a "living wage." IWJ works with the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign to make this a reality, on the federal and state levels.
Between 1-2 million people (some sources estimate more) toil as agricultural laborers in the U.S. The majority of these workers are recently-arrived immigrants. Farmworkers endure long hours of work for little pay, as well as harsh working conditions and exposure to dangerous pesticides; farmwork often involves both legal and illegal child labor. Farmworkers are not covered under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which governs most workers' right to organize into a union and engage in collective bargaining.
Jobs and Unemployment
Interfaith Worker Justice follows other policy and legislative issues of concern to workers, including unemployment insurance and the need for jobs during the recession. Read about them here.