Faithfully seeking justice with workers in the Memphis area

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    The Right To Organize

Workers like Alan* face dangerous working conditions and unfair work rules on a daily basis. Working at a private sanitation company, Alan was tired of being disciplined when he hurt himself on the job. He also knew it wasn’t right to be required to attend safety trainings off the clock, with no pay.

Workers like Alan know they have little power to change these unjust situations by themselves, so they often come together to form unions. But when the sanitation company found out Alan had joined a union, they fired him.

Harassment is common for workers who organize

Alan’s situation is not unusual. In thirty percent of union organizing drives, employers illegally fire workers who are union supporters. Ninety one percent of employers in organizing drives force workers to sit through meetings with their managers telling them why they think unions are bad. 

Workers Interfaith Network members are people like you who believe that all people should be treated according to their God-given dignity in the workplace. Workers should have a voice in the wages, benefits, and working conditions that so deeply affect their lives. One of the most effective ways for workers to have that voice is through a union.

It should be workers’ decisions alone, and not their employers, about whether they can form a union. As the social teachings of many faiths attest, workers have the right to organize unions, without fear or being retaliated against or fired for speaking up for their rights. As this essay by WIN’s executive director explains, unions and faith communities both want to uphold the dignity of workers, and for this reason have a lot of common ground.

The Difference the Faith Community Can Make 

Our experience at Workers Interfaith Network and the experience of our national organization Interfaith Worker Justice has shown that the presence of the faith community with workers matters. When faith leaders publicly join workers to uphold their right to organize, it can make a critical difference in whether workers' rights are respected by employers. 

Take Action to Stop Wage Theft 

Check out our current action alerts, which frequently include alerts about workers’ right to have a union. Use the box in the upper right corner of this page to sign up for our email updates from the front lines, and you'll also be notified of times you can make a phone call, send an email, or join a rally supporting workers’ rights. You can also uphold the right to organize by making a gift or volunteering with us.

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  • The members of Workers Interfaith Network – people just like you – have won living wages and fair working conditions with thousands of workers.
  • By speaking up and taking action, you can join us in advancing the rights of Mid-South workers.
  • Learn more about what our members have accomplished