FAITH AND JUSTICE WORKER CENTER
Faith and Justice Worker Center exists because we believe everyone should have a safe and healthy workplace, and we believe in working-class people’s collective power to create change.
FJWC has been the premier worker rights community organization in Houston for twelve years. We are dedicated to creating positive change with and for low-wage workers by leading research, providing services, building peer support networks, and mobilizing campaigns.
Our model is one of empowerment that ensures a sustainable and growing impact. All our efforts, whether to educate the public, to provide case resolution services, or to lead advocacy campaigns, are driven by members: low-wage workers who become leaders in realizing the mission and exercising governance of the FJWC.
ALL THINGS WORKERS
WHO ARE WORKERS?
Low-wage workers are people who perform work that does not provide economic security. That includes:
workers whose wages would not place them above the poverty line if they worked full time,
workers who receive few or no benefits and often work irregular hours in unregulated conditions,
people whose work is not recognized or compensated, and
people who are trapped in poverty because they are excluded from the labor market, whether due to their immigration status, their criminal records, a disability, or other forms of discrimination.
IT ALL POSSIBLE
Low-wage workers perform important tasks. The fact that our society underpays them has nothing to do with the value of their work: Construction workers build all the safe spaces we have access to. Domestic workers take care of homes and loved ones –– our children, our elderly. Farm workers, truck drivers, fishers, cooks, dishwashers, waitstaff, and grocery store staff feed us. Janitors sanitize our workplaces and public areas.
All these functions are necessary for a society. Workers who perform them have low incomes because of economic forces, not the merit of their labor, and structures like classism, sexism, racism, and xenophobia contribute to their receiving differential and pejorative treatment.
WORKER RIGHTS IMPACT EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE
Worker rights set the bar for working conditions, which determine quality of life for low-wage workers and everyone else. On average, American adults spend nearly half of their waking hours at work. Our occupations expose us to physical conditions that have health effects. In addition, the nature of the work we do and how it is organized can affect our mental health. Furthermore, for most people, employment is the primary source of income, giving us the means to live healthy lives –– or not.
We see the negligent enforcement and deficient definitions of worker rights in Texas as major determinants of social inequalities, and we seek to change these.
Alejandro is the Safety and Health Organizer at FJWC. After surviving carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace, Alejandro came to FJWC seeking justice. Now he leads trainings across the United States that empower workers to advocate for safe working conditions.
Kendra is the daughter of a domestic worker who strives to ensure that all workers are treated with dignity and respect. As the Worker Justice Organizer for FJWC, Kendra’s role is to cultivate a network of worker leaders that are organized to expand workplace justice in Houston.
CHRIS WAGER SALDÍVAR
Chris is a third-generation Tejanx who has been organizing students in solidarity with workers for five years. As a Clinic Organizer, Chris coaches student and worker volunteer teams to fight for justice in cases of labor abuse.
JESSICA LORENA RANGEL
Jessica is a proud mexicana
and third-year law student.
In her role as Information Center Manager, Jessica is the first voice that you will hear when you call. She works to ensure that all labor abuses reported to FJWC are documented, compiles data on working conditions, and gives out valuable information for the public.
Daniana is from Peru, living in USA for more than 20 years. She is the new Executive Director at FJWC. She has served diverse community with education, empowerment and advocacy in multiple non-profit organizations.
Ken is from New Jersey but has called Houston home since 1990. He has served as the bookkeeper at FJWC since 2014. He works full-time as Controller of Interface-Samaritan Counseling Centers, a non-profit mental health provider.