“We’re all in this together”
Assistant Business Manager, Laborers Local 11
“We’re all in this together, quite frankly. Where you might think, ‘I have a professional college graduate degree. What do I have in common with the person in the building who cleans my office?’ Well probably, both of you are struggling over housing. That coalition of common interests, that no matter who you are you want your kids to go to a quality school, live in a safe community, and you want housing security – basically, that it can’t be taken from you if you have an economic downturn, a pandemic and there’s so many people in that similar situation…If they [college graduates] can find an organization like Jobs with Justice and put that passion to work, they’ll find common ground with people who clean their buildings.
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In 2005, DC JWJ convened a broad coalition of labor unions, grassroots community organizations, social service providers and faith leaders to pass a law to ensure a base wage of $11.75 per hour for all direct DC employees, and employees of DC contractors.
In 2012, DC JWJ and Trabajadores Unidos teamed up with restaurant workers from ROC-DC, building trades unions, and disabled worker advocates from the DC EJC to form the Wage Theft Prevention Coalition.