Looking Back at 2007, Looking Forward to 2008

As we commemorate DC Jobs with Justice’s 6th anniversary this winter and prepare ourselves for yet another year of struggle and victories, we do so inspired by the tremendous accomplishments of our coalition in 2007. Together we:rnrn· Won union recognition for over 1,000 security officers working in downtown office buildings at the four largest commercial security contractors, with the Service Employees International Union 32BJ.rnrn· Consolidated support from every DC council member for the Paid Sick and Safe Days Act of 2007, championed by a coalition led by the DC Employment Justice Center. This bill will guarantee that all DC workers receive a minimum number of paid sick days.rnrn· Launched the Connect DC campaign in collaboration with the Communications Workers of America to hold Verizon accountable for how they treat their workers and the community. We succeeded in getting the City Council to hold oversight hearings of Verizon’s service quality.rnrnWithout the presence, support and dedication of our member organizations and network of activists these victories would have been impossible.rnrnOn the cusp of 2008, the possibilities to build and expand the work of DC JwJ look very promising and are very necessary. As A. Phillip Randolph, the founder of the first black labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, once said, “Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous.”rnrnTo continue the struggle and ensure that we are able to build on our victories, we need to strengthen and grow our community of activists.rnrnIf you have not yet taken the pledge to be there five times a year for someone else’s struggle, please take a moment to sign up here on our website.rnrnIf you are already involved, or just getting to know us, consider making a donation to support our work, which you can also do on this site.rnrnBecause while impressive, our past victories are only part of the fight. Though security officers were able to win union recognition this year, they have yet to get their first contract. Forty percent of newly unionized workplaces never win a first contract. In 2008 we will continue to organize support from the religious community, our Building Benefits network, political leaders, and labor allies to pressure the commercial building industry to secure just contracts for security officers.rnrnGalvanized by the momentum of winning a Living Wage law, in 2008 we will push for real accountability in how the city of DC disperses economic development subsidies. We will be championing legislation to ensure that city development projects create good jobs for DC residents, and organize our member organizations to ensure that we win this important reform. As we move towards the 2008 elections, DC JwJ is strategically positioned to pressure our elected officials to prioritize the needs of poor and working people.rnrnWe thank you in advance for your support and wish you a peaceful holiday season and New Year.rnrnIn Solidarity,rnrnMackenzie Baris and Ruth Castel-Branco, DC Jobs with Justice organizersrnrnRoger Newell, chair of the DC Jobs with Justice executive committeern

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.