Thursday, August 27, 2009
Interfaith Leaders Gather to Discuss Worker Justice, July 24 2009
Over twenty faith leaders from various traditions including Protestant, Catholic and Muslim backgrounds came together for a breakfast meeting on July 24th to discuss the different labor justice issues in the community. Leaders shared common values of human dignity, social justice and the moral imperative as people of faith to support low-wage worker rights struggles.
A meatpacker worker and organizer from the United Food and Commercial Workers spoke about the harsh reality of those meat packing companies that still do not have a union. The Exectuive Director of the Heartland Worker Center spoke to the reality of workers in construcction, landscaping or fast food who don't have any defence when worker abuses take place. The state director from Change that Works, an issue advocacy group from the Service Employee International Union, updated the faith leaders on the campaigns for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and health care reform. Two issues that will greatly impact the reality of workers; EFCA bringing more protection for the right to organize and the reform of health services which has the potential to create access and lower costs for so many who can't pay their health bills.
This meeting marks the beginning of an effort for faith leaders and their respective congregations to become more involved with the social justice within their community, especially for the low-wage workers in Omaha and Lincoln.