Transform our Workplaces and Communities

Guest Commentary

Volume CIII, No. 6June, 2003

Simon Greer & Carrie Brunk (New York Jobs With Justice)

New York Jobs with Justice is a dynamic coalition of New York City labor, community, student and faith groups that organizes to transform our communities and workplaces. We take concrete action to level the playing field by building power for working people and demanding an end to corporate greed and economic inequality. We work to re-establish basic freedoms in the workplace – including the right to organize and join a union free from employer intimidation – and promote social, racial and economic justice for all New Yorkers.

Jobs with Justice helps build a real movement for economic and social justice in the city by asking New Yorkers to stand up for one another, to be there at least five times a year for someone else’s struggle, and to engage in direct action to build power and win victories for the working people of New York.

As an organization we concentrate on building a permanent, multi-issue coalition based on long-term relationships. We support campaigns that unite community, labor, student and faith-based organizations on issues which will affect lasting change in New York City.

In just the last year, we’ve helped many of our coalition members win victories throughout the city. We worked with HERE Local 100, UNITE, SEIU 32BJ, UFT, UFCW Local 1500, 1199 and other unions to defend and expand the right to organize at Restaurant Associates, Linens of Europe, The Chapin School, United Cerebral Palsey, Premier Health Systems and greengrocers and delis across the city.

We united student, community and labor constituencies to defeat the unjust and immoral immigrant tuition hike at CUNY last year. And we continue to fight for a fair city and state budget to avoid discriminatory hikes.

We teamed up with the New York Unemployment Project to push state officials – who in turn pushed the Bush administration to commit $7.5 billion to fund an unemployment extension.

We created a home for the TRADES campaign – an unprecedented coalition of public housing residents, labor unions and community groups working together to create employment opportunities in the huge housing trades industry.

We have responded enthusiastically over the last year to meet the growing needs of our community as the economic slowdown and pursuant city and state budget crises have left many working people facing crisis.

For individual activists who want to make a greater commitment of their time, energy and talents, we have launched NYC MOVE!, a collective of activists which supports the work of Jobs with Justice and our allies through creative direct action and group strategizing sessions.

As part of a larger social and economic justice movement in the city, we have an exciting role to play in realigning the balance of power in New York so that public agencies and corporations act with integrity and respect for the rights of working people.

One of our best assets in this fight is our creative enthusiasm and diverse talents – musicians and artists of all types thus have great energy to add to our work. If you would like to make the “I’ll be There” pledge and get active with Jobs with Justice, get word to us at (212) 631-0886 or at