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.
Use the resources below to organize your congregation or community in support of workers' rights.
- Download the CCC Community Coordinator Tool Kit, designed specifically for congregational leaders. It has everything you need to organize educational discussions and advocacy activities for your congregation.
- Download the ROC National Diners' Guide and use it to talk with restaurant owners when you go out to eat. (There's also a supplemental document here about how to use the guide.)
For discussion groups:
Download the CCC Community Coordinator Tool Kit.
- Use Wage Justice, a four-session covenant group guide.
- Check out the covenant group module on pages 5-8 of UUSC's ROC National Diners' Guide tool-kit.
Check out reflection components on pages 4-5 of Just Desserts (PDF), a one-session resource about fair trade and small-farmer cooperatives.
Listen to a recording of UUSC's conversation with Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door. (This conversation was the 2013 Get-Together event, held as part of UUSC's Justice Sunday programming.)
Other education resources:
Utilize the learning materials in the human rights component of the UUA ethical eating study guide.
Read The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain. This comprehensive research report by the Food Chain Workers Alliance looks at wages and working conditions of workers across the entire food chain — a sector that employs 20 million people in the United States (one-sixth of the nation's workforce).
Read "Human Rights from Field to Fork," by Ariel Jacobson and Joann Lo, in Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, a publication of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. This article analyzes injustices in the U.S. food system and offers ideas for positive social change in ways that benefit workers, consumers, and the long-term interests of the nationwide business community.
Read Injustice on Our Plates: Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry, a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center that the Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center contributed to.
Determine your state's minimum wages compared to the federal minimum wage. Resources to consult:
- Explore research reports by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United; topics include the tipped minimum wage, the lack of paid sick days, and gender inequity in the restaurant industry.
- View "If You Eat, You're Responsible," a talk by Eric Schlosser.
- Read "Facts and Figures on Florida Farmworkers," from the Alliance for Fair Food.
- Read "Slavery in the Fields and the Food We Eat," by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
- Listen to first-person accounts from Walmart warehouse workers (courtesy of Warehouse Workers United):
- Bring UUSC's Coffee Project to your congregation.
- Become an affiliate of the UUSC store.
- Participate in Guest at Your Table.
Invite a UUSC speaker to come to your congregation or community and raise awareness of workers' rights.
- Plan a worship service, using the following resources. These were prepared for UUSC's Justice Sunday 2013 program, which focused on economic justice.
- View and show the portrait series from the Welcome Table, a multimedia tool from ROC-United.
- Utilize resources from the UUA ethical eating worship supplement.
- Faith Moves Mountains resources in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida.