Downtown Organizing and Building Benefits Campaign


Between 2006 and 2008, DC JWJ supported the first organizing effort among commercial security officers in Washington, DC, supporting them in winning a union at the four largest companies and a contract that provides a living wage, vacation and sick time, access to health benefits, and a training program to help them advance. DC JWJ mobilized visible community support, expressed through tenant meetings, public actions, letter campaigns to building owners, and support from clergy.

DC JWJ created the “Building Benefits” project to create a network of tenants in downtown office buildings who would use their unique leverage to support workers in their buildings, as well as the push for Paid Sick and Safe Days legislation. Building Benefits network members invited workers to speak at brown bag lunches in their offices, sent letters to their office managers, and held sticker days to show appreciation for the officers in their buildings.

Clergy and community leaders from DC JWJ’s Interfaith Committee and Workers’ Rights Board also played a critical role, inviting officers to speak at congregations, visiting workplaces, and leading delegations to employers.

Written by Mackenzie Baris

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