Labor Day: Continuing Advocacy for Workers

Labor Day is not an excuse to buy items on sale at department stores.

Labor is a legacy of 19th-century US workers who fought for and won legal guarantees for workers, such as the garment workers who made (and make) the clothes sold in the sales racks at department stores.

This legacy continues into the 21st century as missionaries, staff, and volunteers of Global Ministries seek justice for fair wages, safe conditions, and decency in workplaces on Labor Day and beyond.

This weekend, join online faith-based campaigns with networks like the National Farm Workers Ministry and Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ).

The National Farm Workers Ministry, which is celebrating its 40th year, has had success advocating for fairness in the fields, but the struggle continues. "Farm workers have some of the lowest paid and most dangerous jobs in the US," David Wildman, justice and discipleship executive of Global Ministries, said.

Learn about workers' ongoing campaigns and legislation which impact the lives, families, and health of farm workers. Interfaith Worker Justice, too, offers a variety of worship resources, Bible studies, advocacy suggestions, and historical statements for reflection and advocacy.

Both networks offer opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions and actions toward creating a world where no worker is exploited--in the field, restaurant, office, or home.

Within a church or faith community, topics to discuss and take action on may include: sexual harassment, the garment industry, home healthcare workers, and sick days. "Congregations care about poverty and poor people, which is why they are such natural allies in educating workers (and employers)," Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, said.

Young adults are leaders and advocates in the faith movement for workers' rights. Read the lively and substantive youth-and-young adults advocacy page of the National Farm Workers Ministry.

Young adult missionaries of The United Methodist Church have served as organizers, supporting campaigns for workers and for paid sick leave. One such advocate is Joe Hopkins, who works with IWJ and finds sacred space in justice work, including the Capitol building in Wisconsin.

 

This article was originally published by GBGM Mission News on the General Board of Global Ministries webpage; view the original article here.

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