Section 6

Making Progress in 2015 and 2016

Scroll through highlights of our victories, milestones and key events from the last 18 months where we sparked change, set the terms of the debate, strengthened our movements, built leaders and advanced progress toward the world we want to live in.

JWJ 2015–2016 Impact Timeline

Feb 02

Sharing Care Stories

In early 2015, Caring Across Generations kicked off a partnership with the acclaimed storytelling nonprofit The Moth, organizing a series of workshop series and performances to help empower a diverse number of individuals to share their care stories and open up more conversations about aging and caregiving. Jobs With Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta related a powerful story about taking care of her father and daughter at a Moth performance in New York City on February 2.

Feb 03

The Age of Dignity

Caring Across Generations kicked off a 20-city book tour to promote co-director’s Ai-jen Poo’s The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. The book and the book tour uplifted stories and solutions from professional caregivers, family caregivers and older adults to address America’s new demographic and economic realities, particularly the growing need for caregivers. The events reached almost 6,000 people and sparked dialogue around aging and caregiving across the country. Along the tour, the campaign also distributed resources, like “Let’s Talk” pamphlets to begin family caregiving conversations.

Feb 06

Holding Wall Street Accountable

More than 100 union, community, and academic representatives participated in a Wall Street Accountability Training, hosted by LRAN (a project of Jobs With Justice Education Fund), the ReFund America Project, the Roosevelt Campus Network, and the Rutgers University Center for Innovation in Worker Organizations. Attendees were trained in research methods to understand and uncover predatory finance deals and also learned about effective campaign tactics and messaging to win back public revenue for community priorities.

Mar 06

National Organizers Workshop

Jobs With Justice was a key partner in planning, shaping and driving turnout for the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute’s National Organizers Workshop. Nearly 20 Jobs With Justice coalition and Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) leaders attended the professional development and strategy trainings for community and labor organizers, and Executive Director Sarita Gupta gave an Ignite talk.

Mar 09

Hollywood Cares

Caring Across Generations organized an intimate lunch with the filmmakers of Still Alice and with film and entertainment representatives in Hollywood including Maria Shriver, Marisa Tomei, the Sundance Institute and Motion Picture & Television Fund. Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her portrayal of a professor, wife and mother coping with her early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in the film. The event opened the door for collaborations with influential filmmakers to spark more storylines about care issues.

Mar 30

SLAP Steps Up to Stop TPP

More than 30 Student Labor Action Project activists met with 19 Congressional staff during the National Student Lobby Day to talk about what the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) means for young people’s futures. They got a solid commitment from Representative Ruppersberger’s office to vote against Congressional Fast Track authority for the TPP, which was significant since the legislator had yet to go on the record on the issue until that meeting. CWA and the Sierra Club trained students to prepare them for lobbying and for organizing teach-ins on their campuses.

Apr 02

Training Improves Quality Care

Jobs With Justice Education Fund released “Home-Care Attendant Training and Quality of Care from the Perspectives of Home-Care Consumers,” a report surveying home-care consumers to define “quality” care and describe how care-worker training affects the quality of care they receive. The Rutgers University academics who authored the report conclude that home-care attendants must obtain training that is both hands-on and tailored to consumers’ conditions.

Apr 16 Launches

Jobs With Justice launched a new website that explains the basics of income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness to borrowers. In addition to the website, Jobs With Justice also educated thousands of people on options for reducing their student debt by hosting webinars throughout the year featuring experts from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education.

Apr 24

New America Foundation

Executive Director and Caring Across Generations Co-Director Sarita Gupta addressed the New America Foundation Annual Conference, “Exploring a New America: What Drives Innovation Around the Country,”  where she made the case for a structural approach to improving long-term care: “Just as we’ve built infrastructure in our nation in the past, bringing water and electricity into every American home, we need a care grid in our economy. We need to be able to bring as many caregiving options to every home in America.”

Apr 29

Putting Families First

Jobs With Justice, Center for Community Change, Center for Popular Democracy, Working Families Organization and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights launched a national campaign to catalyze a serious debate about the daily economic struggles of American families and what we must do as a nation to assure that everyone has access to a good job. The five partners are all committed to both a narrative strategy and to waging powerful local campaigns that move a bold agenda, including guaranteeing good wages and benefits; valuing families and transforming the home-care and child-care industries; unlocking opportunity in the poorest communities with large-scale investments in places where racial bias and sustained disinvestment have produced concentrated poverty; building a clean energy economy; and taxing concentrated wealth.

Jun 15

Labor Research Action Network Conference

More than 250 scholars and practitioners attended the fifth annual Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) Conference, a project coordinated by Erin Johansson, research director of Jobs With Justice Education Fund. The conference, hosted by the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, brought together academics, organizers and graduate students from across the country to bridge the gap between research and organizing to build power for working people.

Jun 17

Gathering for Gender Justice

The Jobs With Justice Education Fund coordinated Labor Research and Action (LRAN) Network, along with partners from the University of Illinois, Ms. Foundation, Rutgers University, and Georgetown University, hosted a day-long networking and leadership gathering of 60 women from universities, unions, think tanks and community-based organizations who are strengthening women’s collective power as working people. Throughout the event, participants shared some of the breakthroughs in their research, organizing, or policy work, highlighting efforts leading to advancements for women.

Jun 24

The 2015 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards

More than 400 labor leaders, advocates and allies gathered for Jobs With Justice Education Fund’s 11th annual Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration, where we honored UNITE HERE’s María Elena Durazo, the working people who led the San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights campaign and Jack Marco, chair of the Marco Consulting Group.

Jun 25

Living Wage for Care Providers

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker agreed to a contract that guarantees a $15 an hour starting wage for more than 35,000 personal care attendants. Massachusetts Jobs With Justice worked to support homecare providers in SEIU 1199 to win the landmark agreement for a fair return on their care work.

Jun 26

Global Supply Chain Convening

Jobs With Justice organized a convening to develop a long-term collaboration of worker organizations along with Walmart garment supply chain with the goal of expanding bargaining power. The meeting identified points along the Walmart supply chain that can be pressured to change Walmart’s practices and thus shift global labor standards. Jobs With Justice Education Fund and the Asia Floor Wage Alliance also released an influential report ahead of the convening, “New Findings on Conditions Across Walmart’s Garment Supplier Factories in Cambodia, India and Indonesia.” Photo credit: Rosa Luxemburg

Jul 13

Making the Care Economy a Focus of the White House Conference on Aging

With strong partnership from the Caring Across Generations campaign, the White House Conference on Aging included an important conversation on the care workforce and the need for a sustainable wage for caregivers. The campaign shaped and participated in the administration’s five regional forums that led up to the conference, including one in Cleveland on April 27 at which Executive Director and Caring Across Generations Co-director Sarita Gupta spoke.

Jul 16

Netroots Nation

Jobs With Justice staff had a large presence at this influential digital organizing conference in Phoenix. Organizing Director Erica Smiley and Jobs With Justice San Francisco Executive Director Gordon Mar spoke on a dynamic panel discussing new campaigns to improve workplace schedules. Immigration Organizer Natalie Patrick Knox also moderated a panel on preventing low-road employers from using immigration status to retaliate against working men and women who are trying to come together in union. Finally, Senior Communications Strategist Hilary Woodward led a training on strategies for optimizing Facebook and Twitter content in order to meet organizational goals.

Aug 13

(Un)Popular Economics Trainings

The Debt-Free Future campaign developed and facilitated (Un)Popular Economics trainings to empower working people with a foundational understanding of student debt and with tools to formulate campaign plans to challenge the student debt crisis. After the first training in August in Seattle, there were additional sessions in Miami, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Denver, and dozens of those trainees were also trained to facilitate (Un)Popular Economics sessions themselves so they could engage union members with tools to help reduce their student debt burden.

Sep 13

Celebrating Grandparents Day

The Caring Across Generations campaign made inroads in increasing awareness of and celebration of Grandparents Day in 2015 as part of its culture change work to move the public demand for long-term care policy solutions. A major highlight was successfully engaging the grandson of Grandma Betty, an Instagram sensation popular with millennials, to encourage followers to post photos with the hashtag #GrandparentsDay. As a result, #GrandparentsDay was the top Instagram trend all day, and Grandma Betty was the third largest driver of #GrandsparentsDay traffic on the platform. For the first time, #GrandparentsDay also made it to the #1 trend on Twitter. The campaign also worked with the Atlanta Braves to feature Caring Across member Marlie Hill and her grandson on the big screen at a game on Grandparents Day.

Sep 16

Fighting Back Right to Work

After the Missouri legislature passed anti-worker right-to-work legislation, it was vetoed by the governor and faced a veto override vote in September. Missouri Jobs With Justice once again jumped in to contribute its broad faith-labor alliance to the ground game needed to win. The coalition helped stop this attack on working people by organizing delegation visits to key legislative offices, engaging influencers and grasstops leaders to place opinion pieces in the media and mobilizing dozens of activists to canvass in key districts.

Sep 16

Supporting the WAGE Act

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-3) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA) introduced the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act to assess real penalties against law-breaking employers and allow working people the freedom to join together to set standards in their workplaces. At the launch event, the bill sponsors featured a chart making the case for this important effort to fix our broken labor law, one of many educational materials Jobs With Justice produced to advocate for the need for this measure.

Oct 07

The White House Summit on Worker Voice

Jobs With Justice leaders spoke at the White House as part of this important gathering, which underscored the need for our nation’s leaders to ensure the freedom of working people to negotiate collectively and make way for new organizing models that allow Americans to flourish. Executive Director Sarita Gupta participated in the opening panel. She emphasized examples of how unions today are protecting and advancing the voices of working people, while also reinforcing the need to look at innovative ways of solving the evolving challenges men and women face from unfair bosses and workplaces. Student Labor Action Network Organizers Beth Huang was also featured on a panel about how millennials are coming together to improve their workplaces.

Oct 29

Urban Outfitters Ends On-Call Scheduling

Jobs With Justice successfully pressured Urban Outfitters to end its use of on-call schedules at all of its stores in North America. Jumping on news that the apparel chain was only modifying its schedules in New York stores in response to an inquiry from New York’s attorney general office, we encouraged our online supporters to write to the CEO of Urban Outfitters to make the switch at all stores. Within one week of 4,000 of our activists writing the CEO, he announced the policy change.

Dec 03

Discount Foundation Legacy Award Program Launched

The Discount Foundation created the Legacy Award Program to honor an outstanding individual in the worker justice movement and carry its important work forward before shutting down. Jobs With Justice oversees this new program with the Neighborhood Funders’ Group’s Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships. Alfred Marshall, an organizer with STAND with Dignity was the first recipient of the award, receiving a $20,000 stipend to sustain his work to win back power for structurally unemployed and unemployed Black men and women in New Orleans.

Dec 04

Media Trainings Media Trainings Elevate the Voices of Women in Our Movement

In partnership with the AFL-CIO, Berger-Marks Foundation, Rutgers University Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, Scholars Strategy Network and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we launched a series of media trainings to prepare women, and especially women of color, faculty, union leaders and members and community leaders to better engage in the public conversation on labor and the economy. More than a dozen op-eds have been placed to date by the 40 participants, including an editorial by Maritza Silva-Farrell from ALIGN that ran in Crain’s New York.

Dec 10

Demanding UPS Drop ALEC

December 10 – Jobs With Justice joined the Teamsters and Stand Up to ALEC to deliver 30,000 petitions to UPS urging the company drop its membership in the right-wing advocacy group ALEC.

Dec 10

Department of Labor Future of Work Symposium

Executive Director Sarita Gupta spoke on a panel at the Department of Labor’s Future of Work Symposium, where she talked about the greatest challenges facing working people in the shifting labor market and the ways in which individuals can still come together to improve the terms of their work.

Jan 13

D.C. Just Hours Bill Hearing

Dozens of employees, experts, business owners and community leaders testified at a City Council hearing for the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, a measure led by DC Jobs With Justice that would bring more stable schedules and fuller employment to thousands of people who live and work in the District. The bill has the backing of eight councilmembers, and a wide majority of D.C. residents say they support the measures included in the legislation.

Jan 22

Rhode Island Restaurant Employees Win Back Wages

For years the staff at Teriyaki House were not paid minimum wage or overtime despite working 70-85 hours a week. The staff blew the whistle on the restaurant’s lawbreaking, despite the potential for managers to retaliate and call immigration enforcement. After relentless protests organized by Rhode Island Jobs With Justice and other allies, the owners finally repaid employees for all their work.

Feb 12

2016 National Conference

Nearly 800 Jobs With Justice leaders, activists and allies converged on Washington, D.C., for our 2016 National Conference. Attendees spent two days learning from each other and strategizing for future campaigns, as well as talking through the connection between racial justice and economic justice. Key highlights included rousing remarks from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez followed by an action and a march with people who work in retail chains and restaurants in D.C. coming together for a fair return on their work.

Feb 12

2016 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration

At our 12th Awards Celebration, we presented the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award to the writers of Orange Is The New Black for their conscious-raising storylines and Amalgamated Bank for serving as a socially-responsible leader in the financial industry. At the event, we also recognized the 2016 inaugural Discount Foundation Legacy Award winner Alfred Marshall of STAND with Dignity.

Mar 08

Testifying in Support of the Low-Wage Employer Fee

Research Director Erin Johansson testified in front of the Connecticut Senate Human Services Committee on behalf of the proposed Low-Wage Employer Fee. The measure would require the state’s large corporations to either provide family sustaining pay or chip into a fee for critical public services, so employees, communities, and taxpayers are not stuck bearing the burden of their low wages.

Mar 23

Department of Labor Rolls Out Persuader Rule

The Obama administration announced the release of the ‘persuader rule,’ a measure to ensure companies have to disclose more of their spending on anti-union consultants. Jobs With Justice provided research and support to make the case for this standard creating more transparency over the unionbusters that profit from advising companies on how to stop working people from coming together in union.

Apr 01

National Voices of Medicare Summit

Executive Director Sarita Gupta spoke at the National Voices of Medicare Summit in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Caring Across Generations campaign to discuss the ways in which we can build a sustainable care network that supports providers, consumers, and families.

Apr 14

‘Sleeping Giant’ Book Launch

Executive Director Sarita Gupta spoke alongside U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Washington Post reporter Janell Ross and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre about the political and economic power of today’s working class at the book launch of “Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class is Transforming America,” by Demos’ Tamara Draut.

May 18

Overtime Rules Updated

The Labor Department updated its rules governing overtime pay, ensuring millions more people have the right to be paid for all the hours they work. Jobs With Justice advocated for improvements to overtime regulations for more than a year, and Executive Director Sarita Gupta testified in front of the Senate Small Business Committee in support of expanded overtime protections in May 2016.

Jun 01

Working People Gain Big as Verizon Strike Ends

39,000 people headed back to work after standing on the picket lines for nearly seven weeks to protest Verizon’s greed. Through their strike, the brave working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless negotiated a contract that ensures a fair return on work and keeps families together. Jobs With Justice supported the men and women at Verizon by adopting stores for picketing, mobilizing individuals and allies to join store actions, and successfully amplifying and framing their strike in the discourse.

Jun 14

White House United State of Women Summit

Jobs With Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta spoke at the White House’s first-ever United State of Women Summit. Sarita addressed a standing-room-only crowd about the need for more women to have a say over their work to achieve economic empowerment.

continue to the next section: