From the Frontlines

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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Ramadhan and Labor Empathy

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In the Spirit of May Day

 Voice of the People

"Let the voice of the people be heard!" Albert Parsons spoke these last words in 1887 right before he and 3 other men were unjustly hanged for the Chicago Haymarket Bombing. The Haymarket affair is widely considered the origin of international May Day events for workers. Read more about the history of May Day.

This May Day, take to the streets to voice your support for all working people. Today, more than ever, we need to make sure human rights are protected. We choose to show our love and solidarity by standing together and caring for one another independent of race, religion, o...

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The Radical Roots of Janus

As the Supreme Court heard the pivotal union case, Janus v. AFSCME, on Monday, an unacknowledged presence haunted its chambers: that of Sylvester Petro.

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Big Victory For Poultry Workers As USDA Rejects Increased Line Speed Petition

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has rejected a National Chicken Council petition to increase line speeds in poultry processing plants. This is a significant victory for thousands of poultry workers across the country and a direct result of the worker-led coalition of IWJ affiliates and allies that have been organizing tirelessly for years on the issue.

Just last month IWJ affiliates, staff, and coalition leaders met with USDA officials...

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Workers and Allies Celebrate "Groundbreaking" New York City Law Authorizing Paycheck Deduction

by Maxine Phillips

Four years ago I shivered with a handful of people in front of a McDonald's in midtown Manhattan agitating for a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers. The only news outlet that covered the demonstration was Al Jazeera, which had a U.S. office at the time. The demonstration was part of a national campaign of one-day strikes by workers in fast-food restaurants in an effort to improve conditions in an industry marked by high turnover and low wages.

The ...

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