What's New

Updates on how UUSC supporters are taking action to increase the minimum wage.

Order up: workers’ rights

Economic justice is essential for securing basic human rights. Recognizing that workers’ rights are human rights, UUSC is committed to defending and supporting living wages, fair trade, and workers’ right to organize — and you are essential to these efforts. As a consumer, you have the power to make a difference in the lives of workers every day when you choose services and products that align with your values of justice and equality. UUSC’s Choose Compassionate Consumption (CCC) initiative helps you figure out how to do that.

Take the U.S. restaurant industry, one of the fastest growing sectors with the lowest paying jobs. Sustainable food and ethical eating means more than local and organic — it also means sustainable wages and working conditions for food workers. Current industry norms are unacceptable:

  • Gender inequality
  • Racial discrimination
  • No paid sick days or health insurance
  • Tipped minimum wage that has been stuck at $2.13 per hour for more than 20 years

Food workers deserve more than scraps, and you can be part of changing the industry when you press the restaurants you frequent to do right by their workers. In collaboration with grassroots workers’ organizations, UUSC gives you the resources and skills to do that. Fair conditions for food workers — raising the minimum wage, ensuring basic benefits — are not incompatible with thriving restaurants, successful business owners, and happy customers.

In its work to advance economic justice and engage people in choosing compassionate consumption, UUSC focuses on defending the rights of the following people:

  • Restaurant workers, especially tipped workers
  • Workers who are women and people of color
  • Small farmer cooperatives

Featured projects

  • Pressuring U.S. lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage, including the minimum wage for tipped workers
  • Engaging activists and congregations in educating their peers and urging restaurant owners to treat their workers with respect
  • Partnering with workers’ centers to protect the rights of workers throughout the food chain
  • Supporting small farmers around the world through the UUSC Coffee Project, in collaboration with Equal Exchange and UU congregations
  • Offering ethically sourced products through shop.uusc.org, which supports UUSC’s human rights work

Resources

Use these resources to organize your congregation or community in support of workers' rights.