Labor Day weekend provides a unique opportunity for faith communities, workers, worker advocates and the labor movement to rediscover their common bonds: social justice, equality, the dignity and respect of all persons, economic justice and fair treatment in the workplace.
As people of faith and faith leaders across the country prepare for Labor Day weekend, many are planning to bring issues important to low-wage workers to the attention of their congregations and faith communities through Interfaith Worker Justice's Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar program. Each year thousands of congregations talk about important worker justice issues affecting their community through the lens of their faith.
According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, more than 40 million Americans work in jobs where they have no access to paid sick days. In addition to the potential loss of wages and jobs for working families, the lack of paid sick days forces many people to go to work when they are contagious and get co-workers and customers sick and decreases productivity for workers who show up unable to perform to their normal level of ability. More and more cities and states are recognizing the realities of the damage having a workforce without paid sick leave does to workers and to the economy.
Chicago now has one of the nation’s strongest anti-wage theft laws after the City Council last week unanimously passed a bill that the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) affiliate Arise Chicago, immigrant workers groups and unions supported. The new ordinance could revoke business licenses for businesses found guilty of wage theft.
The Workers' Rights Center of Madison (WRC) and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) teamed up to publish a "Just Dining" guide that informs customers and workers about the employment standards and conditions for the people who cook, prepare and serve food in the downtown restaurants of Madison, Wis. The guide focuses especially on the working conditions in central Madison restaurants.
Not only are corporations sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash and refusing to hire workers, now it appears employers who are making fewer workers do even more aren’t paying their overtime wages. The number of overtime wage theft complaints, filed by workers in the first half of this year, matches last year’s total filed under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a new report.
Holding white carnations high above their heads to symbolize the nation’s millions of jobless workers—including the 6 million facing the loss of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits Dec. 31—more than 2,000 union, faith and community activists committed their faith and action to demand Congress act now to extend the emergency lifeline for the jobless.