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 more than twelve years. We are dedicated to creating positive change with and for low-wage workers by 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.