From the Frontlines

Wage Theft: The Need for Robust Wage and Hour Enforcement

By Alejandra Gramajo (IWJ work-study student) 

As wage theft continues to hinder the lives of workers, the House Appropriations Committee has acknowledged new solutions are necessary in their most recent hearing on wage theft this past Tuesday. In Chicago alone, a survey of workers in low wage jobs found that 67 percent of individuals who worked more than 40 hours a week, were not paid overtime even though they were entitled to it.[1] This shows just how difficult it can be to enforce wage laws within a state. Enforcing these laws across state lines is even more difficult and is a power that is mainly focused within the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

After all, ...

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Urge Support for Dream Act and Healthy Families Act

Dream/Healthy Families Act

As Congress clocks out for the weekend many members of Congress can be proud of the shifts they put in this week. Two very important but very different pieces of legislation were introduced that, if passed, will improve the lives of millions of people living in the United States.

On Wednesday, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 which will provide permanent protections for those whose protections were ca...

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An Open Letter to Wendy’s from National Faith Leaders

To Nelson Peltz and the Wendy’s Board of Directors,

We write as faith leaders of national religious denominations and organizations to urge Wendy’s to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program. Our faith traditions call on us to uphold human dignity and to build a society grounded in the firm belief that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. The hundreds of thousands of people of faith we represent view those values as a mandate to stand in solidarity with farmworkers and insist that Wendy’s commit to human dignity and human ...

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Demonstrate a Greater Love

 

This February 14th, Interfaith Worker Justice asks you to demonstrate a greater love: the love of justice. On the day we normally reserve for romance, fancy dinners, chocolates and flowers, we ask you to spare a moment to help us work for paid family and medical leave benefits.

Did you know that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves out 40 percent of the workforce and guarantees only unpaid leave, which millions cannot afford to take?

Unfortunately, this means that millions of Americans can’t provide care whe...

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New Jersey passes $15 minimum wage

Yesterday marked a historic day for working people in the state of New Jersey. After years of effort, New Jersey became the fourth state in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage bill. This would not have been possible without the tireless effort of dozens of organizations working together to get this done!

A coalition of worker centers, unions, and faith groups had workers participate by meeting with legislators, holding rallies, and giving testimonies to the State Assembly and Senate Labor Committees. The intention was for a $15 for ALL bill to include domestic workers; the final bill has carve-outs giving small businesses (with 5 employees or fewer) until 2026...

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Letter Urging Backpay for Federal Contract Workers

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
The Honorable Charles Schumer
The Honorable Richard Shelby
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
The Honorable Ron Johnson
The Honorable Gary Peters
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Nita Lowey
The Honorable Kay Granger
The Honorable Elijah Cummings
The Honorable Jim Jordan
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Members of Congress:

The undersigned organizations write in support of efforts to secure back pay for employees of federal contra...

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Religion as a Means of Mobilizing People

 

by Ece Esikara 
(Originally posted on http://blogs.brandeis.edu)

I have never seen a religious leader working for the workers before. I have never heard a talk about religion in a ‘lefty’ space before.

Before coming to Brandeis, as an activist and lefty high schooler, I worked in several organizations including feminist and sociali...

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Supreme Court Delivers A Huge Blow to Millions of Workers

Julian Medrano |

 US Supreme CourtRead more

Everybody’s Got the Right to Live, continued...

Julian Medrano |

sick on couchJoseph Choi / Flickr

by Julian Medrano

Another critical pillar in improving lives and creating a just economy is ensuring that working people have access to paid sick days and paid family leave. The passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was a powerful step forward and provided millions with the right to take time to nurture their newborns, care for their loved ones, and care for their own health without fear of losing their jobs. But it has been 25 years since it was passed...

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Everybody's Got the Right to Live: Poor People's Campaign Week 5

Julian Medrano |

Poor People's Campaignphoto from Poor People's Campaign

by Julian Medrano

Across the country, people of faith and goodwill kicked off week five of the Poor People’s Campaign to draw attention to systemic poverty, jobs, income & housing. We join them in asserting: Everybody’s got the right to live!

This week’s focus on living wages, good jobs, and the fight to protect the inherent rights and dignity of working families gets to the very heart of IWJ’s mission...

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Faithful Letter Opposing Increased Line Speeds in Meat Packing

Carmen Rottenberg
Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
Food Safety Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C.

Dear Deputy Under Secretary Rottenberg,

We are a group of national faith-based organizations from various faith traditions and we are writing to you because our shared values call on us to advocate on behalf of the workers in the meat packing industry. We believe that all workers are entitled to safe workplaces that are free of dangerous conditions and that it is the responsibility of the government to act in a way that improves the safety of work...

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The Story of Ruth: Shavuot and Sharing in the World's Harvest

by Ben Levenson

Shavuot is one of the least well known important holidays in Jewish tradition. People know about passover and matzah, yom kippur and fasting, and hanukkah candles, but not Shavuot. Perhaps it’s because the customs, staying up all night studying and eating dairy (for all those lactose intolerant Jews) is less sexy than a passover seder about liberation and Hanukkah games and candles. And perhaps it’s also because the holiday commemorates receiving laws at Mount Sinai. I remember when I was a kid at one of these night study sessions reading through the ten commandments with a group from our synagogue and trying to ...

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