Interfaith Worker Justice
Interfaith Worker Justice is creating people-powered change, and they need your help. Please read below to learn more about the issues they're working on and how you can get involved. Thank you!
Tell Ronald McDonald: Stop stealing workers' wages!My name is Ian Swanson. I'm in fourth grade. Once a month, I am allowed to eat at any fast food restaurant I want. My favorite fast food place is McDonald's. I love the Happy Meals! Although my mom disagrees, I think that McDonald's has the best burgers, chicken nuggets and french fries in the country. I really enjoy my monthly treat at McDonald's, but last week was my last Happy Meal. I learned that the people who make my Happy Meal don't earn enough to provide for their own kids because McDonald’s doesn’t pay them enough and sometimes does not even pay what they owe. I don't want to give my money to a company that steals from its workers. It made me very upset to hear that McDonald's and many other fast food companies steal from workers by not paying them for the work they do. That is not fair! My parents taught me to share and never take what does not belong to me. I want to help the McDonald’s workers, but I am just a kid and sometimes I need an adult to help me do things. I want to ask McDonald’s to give back the money that they stole from the workers and be fair. Will you join me? *Ian is the son of an Interfaith Worker Justice staff person. For more information about wage theft and the struggles of fast food workers, visit www.iwj.org*1,672 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Ian Swanson
GTS BOARD: REINSTATE FACULTY & MEET WITH THEMOn September 30, 2014, eight professors at GTS were fired for exercising their basic (and legal!) rights as faculty members and as workers: the right to form a union. They demanded to meet to address issues that create a “hostile work environment." Their firing doesn’t just impact the professors, but the students and future leaders of the Church. As custodians and overseers of an institution charged with nurturing the next generation of Episcopalian leaders, it is the Board of Trustees’ responsibility to lead by example and practice worker relations that align with the values of the Church and honor workers’ legal and moral rights. At the 2102 General Convention, the Episcopal Church resolved to build networks in the labor movement and work with those in the labor movement to strengthen for a more just society, pledged to oppose legislative attempts that eliminate or reduce collective bargaining rights and consider union rights when making purchasing and contracting decisions. Given the Episcopal Church’s explicate opposition to retaliation and support of workers’ right to organize, the Board of Trustees must quickly reinstate these faculty members and meet with them as a collective bargaining unit.9 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Aina Gutierrez
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori: It's time to step in; push for full reinstatement of the GTS8As the Deputy Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, a national organization that engages the faith community in worker rights issues, I’ve encountered my fair share of unscrupulous corporate bosses who strip workers of their rights and dignity on the job. As a faithful Episcopalian and divinity school graduate, whose experience of church and seminary led me to my vocation, I never imagined the day when I’d find myself rallying against leaders of the Church’s oldest seminary, General Theological Seminary (GTS). Today, Oct. 17, the GTS Board of Trustees ruled against pleas — from students, clergy, worker advocates and concerned people of faith — to fully reinstate the eight GTS professors (GTS8) who were recently let go for exercising their legal right to demand fair treatment and a healthy work environment. As custodians and overseers of an institution charged with nurturing the next generation of faith leaders, the Board of Trustees’ decision jeopardizes not just the lives and livelihoods of the GTS8, but also the integrity of an institution founded on Episcopalian values that includes the just and fair treatment of workers. The seminary has failed to live out its religious values, so it's time to look to the Presiding Bishop and Church for leadership and accountability. What the board of trustees has done is wrong. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, can make this right. Episcopalians, seminarians, clergy, people of faith and worker rights advocates all over the country are waiting for her to act. The GTS8 deserve nothing less than full reinstatement.2,842 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Aina Gutierrez
Tell Ronald McDonald (AGAIN): Please stop hurting workers!My name is Ian Swanson. If you signed my letter to Ronald McDonald last year, THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you didn’t, thank you for reading this message now and for considering to join me this time. Last year, I got very upset when I heard that McDonald's and many other fast food companies were stealing from workers by not paying them for the work they do. My parents taught me to share and never take what does not belong to me. I really didn’t like it that Ronald was not being fair to workers. So, my grown-up friends helped me write a letter to Ronald. More than 1,500 signed my letter — I was so glad to see that many other people were just as upset as I was. This week, my godmother told me that the workers are still not being paid right AND that many of them get hurt or burned while making our fries. That’s really bad…and I can’t have a Happy Meal when I know that the people who make them are getting injured and being mistreated. Again, I want to help the McDonald’s workers, but I am just a kid and sometimes I need an adult to help me do things. I want to ask McDonald’s to stop hurting workers by not paying them fairly and not giving them the help they need when they’re hurt. Will you join me? *Ian is a fifth-grader from Chicago. To learn more about the struggles of fast food workers and ways to support them, visit www.iwj.org*734 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Ian Swanson