Thanks to your support, JWJ’s Annual Dinner is SOLD OUT!

In case you missed it, tickets for the dinner are officially SOLD OUT at capacity! Thank you! We’re overwhelmed by your support!

If you wish to be added to the waitlist for tickets, please send a message to Amanda@jwjpdx.org! We will let you know as soon as tickets become available. If your organization will not be filling all of your reserved seats, and would like to donate tickets back to the pool so that low wage, unemployed or striking workers can attend, please also contact Amanda!

We look forward to celebrating our movement’s 30th Year and recognizing local leaders in Portland and our special guests from Staten Island, ALU’s Chris Smalls and Derrick Palmer! Their efforts to create change at Amazon, one of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, have been nothing short of historic!

If you’d like to support us but can’t attend the event, a donation to our silent auction, wine table, or financial contribution would be welcome! On behalf of everyone at Portland Jobs with Justice “J with J,” your support makes our work possible, your fight is our fight, and thank you!

Join JWJ’s Annual Dinner to Celebrate Our 30th Year!

Portland Jobs with Justice Annual Dinner is back. We are thrilled to announce the return of this event along with our keynote speakers, Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls and Chair of Organizing Derrick Palmer! RSVP by Thursday, September 22nd. Seating is limited to 248 attendees. If your organization is interested in purchasing a table but unable to fill all the seats, please consider sharing your table by donating those seats to our scholarship fund.

Please use our Action Network payment link or contact Amanda – amanda@jwjpdx.org- for a digital copy of the sponsorship packet and for any other questions.

Can you help make it a success? JWJ is seeking in-kind donations of art, theatre tickets, and gift certificates for our evening’s silent auction, and wine for the wine wall! Donations can be by the bottle, any varietal, and any price range.

We are looking forward to coming together in solidarity October 6th. Click Here to Secure Your Seats!

Calling for Good jobs, great service at the Post Office, a hub for community life!

On Tuesday, July 26th, on the Postal Service’s 247th birthday, JWJ called for investments in career Postal jobs, as good jobs = great service. Postal workers, and community, united, also called to fulfill the vision of postal unions: that the Postal Service be a vital hub for community services, with delivery powered by union-made electric vehicles!

Rev. David Wheeler of JWJ’s Faith Labor Committee gave a strong opening. It was inviting and humorous, citing real life experience many communities, especially rural, share. The postal service is a hub for public life! Twitter thread.

Video and excerpt below:

Excerpt of Rev. David Wheeler’s speech to Postal Workers.

“Efficiency is having workers who know what they’re doing, have a long tenure on their jobs, and who care about those jobs.”

(Audible “Amen” from the crowd!)

“I’m a Baptist and that’s a dirty word in a lot of places of our culture now, because that’s a word associated with the religious right and reactionary forces. But I’m a Martin Luther King Jr Baptist. I’m a Rep. John Lewis Good Trouble Baptist. I’m a follower of Jesus when he made Good Trouble on Earth, and his most faithful disciples continue to make Good Trouble. He talked about a vein of God that was Shalom and Respect.

When we support Workers Rights, we support the Divine Reign of Shalom. Here’s why that’s important. Sometimes bad ideas, misguided people, just plain bad people seem to have all the power. Sometimes our struggles for justice, for caring, for opportunity, for fairness, seem futile. But as MLK Jr said a long time ago, “the arc of history is long but it bends towards justice. We are not perfect but we are on the right side. I want you, I want us, to be encouraged. I want you to know that in the long run, that one step at a time, one rally at a time, one contract negotiation at a time, one conversation with supervisors at a time. Step by step by step in the long run we are on the right side. Be of good courage. I’m fascinated that this is a birthday celebration. We celebrated the birthday of our poor, fractured, threatened, union called the United States of America 246th birthday just a few weeks ago. but the USPS, going all the way back to the initiative of Benjamin Franklin is 247 years old. And from what I understand, 247 years later, Benjamin Franklin is going to put in an appearance today. Man am I stoked about that. But these things can happen. Once at First Baptist church downtown, we had a live debate between Martin Luther and the Pope. So I know these things can happen. What do we look for in a US Postal Service? Yes we look for efficiencies if they’re fair. Yes we look for good equipment and we want to keep it and enhance it rather than mothball it. Yes we want good transportation. We want American made electric vehicles instead of gas guzzlers. We look for efficiencies, we aren’t immune to business sense. But first and last and foremost, the United States Postal Service is Service. My parents grew up in a couple small towns in KY 8 miles apart. The post office was the hub of the community. We know that’s still the case in places in rural Oregon, but it could be so much more. Not only a place to meet. A place to pick up your mail. A place to do your banking. A place to access social services. These initiatives which are part of what the postal unions want are further steps toward the Shalom of God. I grew up in a city, Kentucky, Louisville. My neighborhood post office is a place where folks met. It was a service to the community and that is what we want, .And in the long run, step by step by step, we are on the right side. And we shall prevail. Thank you very much God Bless You all!”

Workers win stronger protections from heat and smoke just in time for summer!

Hot weather is here, and here is what you need to know! New rules in Oregon are now in effect to protect workers, including the right to more breaks, water, and shade!

Know your rights! Go here for information:
https://osha.oregon.gov/workers/Pages/Worker-rights-and-responsibilities.aspx

After a year and a half of rulemaking, collaboration, and advocacy by workers and environmental, health, small business, and labor activists, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted and published permanent rules to protect Oregon’s frontline workers from the increasingly frequent and extreme conditions being driven by climate change today. 

They are the strongest of their kind in the nation! Let’s break it down:

The Good:

Access to shade, cool drinking water, and increased paid breaks at 80F and 90F. 

Additional high heat protections at 90F, which include a buddy system, increased communication between employers, supervisors, and employees, and a requirement for employers to measure heat and humidity levels in indoor structures.

Employers must provide annual training, an acclimatization plan, heat illness prevention plan, and emergency medical plan. 

Employers to provide emergency N95 respirators for voluntary use at 101 AQI (“unhealthy for sensitive groups.”)

Feasible administrative or engineering controls be implemented at the workplace to reduce the level of smoke to below 101 AQI (“unhealthy for sensitive groups.”) (e.g. changing work locations, using HVAC system to filter smoke.) 

Mandatory respirator use at 251 AQI. A complete respiratory protection program is required at 500 AQI (“hazardous”)

The Bad:

The tiered rest/work schedules in high heat are confusing, hard to implement, and give employers too much discretion on when workers can rest. The rules provide three charts / choices which could potentially lead to difficulty in enforcement, and to workers knowing their rights.

The weakest of the tiered rest/work schedules does not consider whether a worker is exposed to direct sun.  

The heat protections in labor housing remain incomplete, and OR OSHA plans to fully address these protections in another separate rulemaking.

How workers voices made the difference:

Dozens of people provided testimony and hundreds of public comments were delivered asking OSHA to protect people from climate change. See the joint press release here.

Climate Jobs/Jobs with Justice helped broaden the scope, helped organize unions to weigh in during OSHA’s rulemaking process. Many union leaders signed on to extensive letters directed to OSHA from the stakeholder coalition detailing workers needs, what needed to be changed in the various OSHA drafts. 

Bus drivers in the ATU, warehouse workers in the Teamsters, hazardous waste facility workers in AFSCME, cooks in Doughnut Workers United, Letter Carriers, workers from IATSE, and more testified to OSHA before and during the public comment period. This testimony from workers was absolutely critical in getting improvements in the draft rules. A number of workers also submitted letters to the editor of Portland and Salem newspapers and a number were published.

These final rules were truly a team effort between JWJ, JWJ’s Climate Jobs and partners PCUN, Northwest Workers Justice Project, Oregon Environmental Council, Main Street Alliance, Oregon Law Center, Oregon AFL-CIO, and all of the workers who weighed in!

JWJ’s Faith Labor Committee is Recruiting Leaders!

Are you a person of faith and fired up over workers struggle and social justice? Are you interested in working in fellowship with volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to uplift working people? Are you interested in expanding out the good works and building solidarity among communities of faith? Then the opportunity below is for you!

The cherished Co-Chairs of JWJ’s Faith-Labor Committee are looking to pass the torch to new leadership. Check out the Job Description here, and get in touch with Jean and/or Cecil for more information!

Faith leaders stand with Starbucks workers on their road to union victories!

The workers, united, will never be defeated! The unstoppable Starbucks Workers United, SBWUPDX, won again, Tuesday 6/7 at the embattled Jantzen Beach (JB) store in a 10-5 sweep! JB has been the site of fierce struggle between union activists and company managers. One JB barista, Matt Thornton, was fired for union organizing. JB workers, with community support, shut the store down twice in protest, once with a rally (in which JWJ co-Chair Jacob Faatz spoke) and once with a strike (in which Rev. Connie Yost from JWJ’s Faith Labor Committee spoke.) See below for Rev. Connie Yost’s invocation from the picket line!

We cheer that Portland Starbucks baristas are 9 for 9 in the Portland area! Jantzen Beach workers join union baristas who won their unions June 2nd: Jenkins at Cedar Hills (voted 10-2), Walker Road (voted 12-5), Garden Home (voted 12-1.) Prior to that victories were won at Westmoreland (voted 9-1), SE Powell/28th (voted 14-2), SW 5th/Oak (voted 5-0), 23/Burnside (voted 9-2), Grand/Lloyd (voted 9-0.).

The outpouring of community support–the countless rallies, sip-ins for #UnionStrong coffee, car caravans, social media support, and standing with striking baristas on the picket line — has been critical every step of the way! Starbucks workers keep winning, and have already won over 135 unions nation-wide, in the face of a vicious anti-worker campaign led by CEO Howard Schultz. When workers unite, they win. When labor and community unite, it’s a movement – together we make more movement wins possible!

See below for the invocation Rev. Connie Yost from JWJ’s Faith Labor Committee delivered to workers at the Jantzen Beach picket line!

Co-Chair Jacob Faatz with The Rev. Connie Yost
"It is good to be with you today. I am the Rev. Connie Yost and a member of the Faith Labor Committee of Jobs with Justice. Standing with workers is an important part of my ministry, and I feel a special connection to Starbucks workers.
I grew up in Seattle and before I entered the ministry, I was in sales and Starbucks was a client of mine.
This was the early 90’s when Starbucks was just getting going. Now I am the President of Farm Worker Ministry Northwest and a few years ago, I attended the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting in Seattle at the request of United Farm Workers, which was trying to get Starbucks to support dairy workers. This annual meeting was quite a lavish affair with thousands in attendance. There were 3 large screens showing pictures of Black and brown coffee farmers and smiling Starbucks workers in their green aprons. For several hours Starbucks management emphasized their ethical and sustainable values. And yet when it came time for management to stand up for the dairy workers in their supply chain, it was clearly “not our problem.”
Now, today, it is their problem. You are making good trouble. You are standing up for your rights,
beginning with the right to organize. We call on Starbucks management to stop their union-busting tactics. We call on Starbucks to reinstate union organizer Matt Thornton who was unjustly fired.
We call on Starbucks to walk the talk, taking to heart the company’s own motto: To inspire and
nurture the human spirit. What better way to do that than to treat workers fairly?
Let us pray, We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of these workers. We say “no” to the greed that values profit over people. The workers are the backbone of the company, not the shareholders.
Let us each call on our own source of strength so we can find it in our heart to stand with these workers even when the going gets tough.
Workers, may you know that our hearts are open to you in love, justice and hospitality. May the
organizing and strikes soon bear fruit. We are with you.
This we pray, in the spirit of life, love and solidarity.
Amen."