UUSC recognizes that workers’ rights are human rights and works to improve the lives of the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable workers. Many workers around the world are employed in environments where they struggle to earn a living, support their families, and live a life of dignity. This is particularly true for women who work in the informal economy worldwide, and in the United States, for workers in several sectors of the food industry.
Economic justice is essential for securing basic human rights, alleviating poverty, and achieving a more just world. UUSC’s Economic Justice Program develops strategic partnerships and networks, builds movements, and influences local, statewide, and national policy in order to advance workers’ rights.
- Empower and organize workers to advocate for their rights
- Foster the creation of fair, safe work environments that are free from intimidation and harassment, and where the human rights and dignity of workers are respected
- Hold corporations accountable for violations of their workers’ human rights
- Partner to promote women’s employment in traditionally male industries in the West Bank of Palestine through education, training, engagement with public and private institutions, and advocacy
- Support the training of informal workers in Zimbabwe and Malawi about how to advocate for their human rights
- Engaging in research on worker rights’ issues in the poultry industry in Northwest Arkansas
- Empower women home-based workers to advocate for their rights through our partnerships with HomeNet Pakistan in Lahore, and with Saathi in Kathmandu, Nepal
- Partner with the Street Vendor Project to advance the rights of street vendors in New York City
- Partner with the Food Chain Workers’ Alliance to support improvements in municipal food purchasing by adopting Good Food Purchasing Policies
PARTNER IMPACT & ACTIVITY
- Benefitted nearly 4,000 individuals through our support for KENASVIT, an organization that has engaged local informal worker leaders in resource mobilization, gender mainstreaming, and lobbying and advocacy efforts.
- Supported Missouri’s Rural Community Workers Alliance (RCWA) in co-hosting labor rights trainings with OSHA. These were attended by over 50 individuals and over 1,500 materials were distributed to workers, including OSHA wage and hour booklets and “protect your rights” cards.
- lnitiated a series of trainings, each of which will empower 36 workers to advocate for the Good Food Purchasing Policy in their community, which benefits low-income students and seniors.
- UUSC participated in a collaborative research project that resulted in the February 2016 release of Wages and Working Conditions in Arkansas Poultry Plants, a report on human rights abuses in the poultry industry.
UUSC’s Advocacy Highlights
- Supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ boycott of Wendy’s by putting pressure on the company to responsibly source their tomatoes and improve wages and working conditions for farmworkers.
- Demanding that Darden – the largest employer of workers earning the $2.13/hour tipped minimum wage in the United States – improve the company’s pay scale, working conditions, and supply policy by signing the Good Food Purchasing Principles.