Interfaith Worker Advocates Take Action to Support the 99 Percent Nov. 17-20 National Days of Action Planned

Interfaith Worker Justice

Interfaith congregations and worker advocates are supporting the 99 percent by taking action against wage theft and lifting up the need for just jobs on Nov. 17-20. Workers Centers in the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) network are sponsoring actions in nearly 20 locations across the United States.

“This economy is unfair,” said Kim Bobo, Executive Director of IWJ. “The 99 percent are saying that we need jobs but we need jobs that are just – jobs that pay a living wage and offer benefits that you support a family on – jobs with employers who don’t steal your wages from you.”

On Nov. 17, the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center will be putting a recently-won state-wide wage theft law to the test by bringing workers with wage claims to their local police departments. The Workers Center of Central New York is sponsoring a march beginning at the site of Occupy Syracuse. A delegation from the Northwest Arkansas Worker Justice Center is set to visit a Fayetteville, Ark. restaurant to demand an employer pay back wages. During the weekend of Nov. 18-20, congregations of all faiths in Memphis are organizing Just Job Sabbath days. Similar actions are planned across the country.

IWJ has targeted the issue of wage theft, in part, because this is a problem that can be solved, according to Bobo. “Just a few years ago nobody was even talking about the issue of wage theft,” she said. “Now we are seeing victories at state and local levels across the country.”

Since the first National Wage Theft Day of Action in 2009 tough anti-wage theft laws have been passed in Texas, New York, San Francisco, Miami-Dade County, Seattle and other cities.

Last week, Bobo testified before the US House subcommittee on Workforce Protections that more enforcement by federal agencies is needed. Her newly revised and expanded book Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Americans are Not Getting Paid and What You Can Do About It was released this month.

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