In 2013 we won big victories and laid important infrastructure towards organizing the South. Our city of Atlanta is critical to the regional, national and global struggle to build an economy that works for EVERYONE. The South must lead. Building an unapologetically progressive organization that unites community, labor, students and faith communities in effective campaigns and movements for economic, racial and social justice is a tall task anywhere, but especially in the South.
Here’s what we accomplished in 2013:
• Led the statewide “Justice for School Workers” campaign that won back $8,000,000 dollars in unemployment benefits for over 4,000 contingent, low wage school workers. This catalyzed x3 union organizing drives, two of which were victorious with food service workers at Clark Atlanta University and Agnes Scott College. (mobilized 1800+ participants throughout this campaign)
• We expanded our member organizations from 19 in 2012 to 30 in 2013, greatly expanding our base and capacity.
• We coordinated unprecedented fast food worker strikes in Atlanta, GA with workers from over 14 stores participating. We shut down 2 fast food stores for hours during these actions and shifted the media dialogue to focus on raising the minimum wage (mobilized 425+ people over 2 days of action).
• Member organization AUC Alliance for Fair Labor won campaign urging Spelman College to sign on to the Workers’ Rights Consortium.
• Forged a partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to hold Publix accountable to farm workers, (organized 250+ person picket event).
• Play an anchoring role in bringing the Moral Monday movement to Georgia (First action around Medicaid Expansion to be held on January 13th!).
• Participated in program to develop international solidarity with the trade union movement in India and played a key role in developing the United Workers Congress.
• Supported member organization the National Domestic Workers Alliance – Atlanta Chapter in grass roots pressure campaign for Medicaid Expansion in Georgia.
These are just some of the highlights from 2013. Atlanta Jobs with Justice supported many other organizations, campaigns, communities and movements in the city of Atlanta and across the state of Georgia.
We are very excited for 2014 to unite low wage workers across our city and state to win campaigns led by our communities in the South.
For updates from Atlanta Jobs with Justice, follow it on Twitter @atlantajwj
Roger Sikes is a staff organizer for Atlanta Jobs with Justice and a member of Metro Atlanta DSA, which is a founding organization and consistent supporter of Atlanta JwJ.