Reflections

A Magazine of Theological and Ethical Inquiry from Yale Divinity School

Faith, Fairness, and the American Worker

Interfaith Worker Justice coordinates with 60 affiliate organizations nationally to advocate for economic justice and workers’ rights.

It also promotes a network of Worker Justice Congregations. Some 300 congregations in 28 states agree to support ethical businesses, advocate political reforms that enhance family-sustaining wages, and strive to be fair employers themselves.

Interfaith Worker Justice was founded in 1996. Supporters include individual donors, congregations, national denominations, foundations committed to social and economic justice, and labor unions. Its core goals include:

  • ENDING WAGE THEFT More than 16,000 workers come into IWJ workers centers for help each year, and 80 percent are victims of wage theft (the illegal underpayment or non-payment of workers’ wages). The goal is to end wage theft. 
  • CORPORATE JUSTICE The goal is to urge corporations to become leaders in an economy that uplifts the common good.
  • COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM More than 11 million undocumented people are living in this country. The goal is to reform America’s immigration system with a clear path to citizenship and strong worker protections.
  • RAISE THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE The goal is a living wage that is indexed to inflation.
  • PAID SICK DAYS More than 40 million workers in the US – more than 80 percent of low-wage workers – don’t have a single paid sick day. The goal is to raise core workplace standards for American workers and make paid sick days a standard for all workers. 
  • HEALTH AND SAFETY Millions in the workforce are faced with jobs that do not guarantee a safe and healthy work environment. IWJ is working with affiliates to train on health and safety issues in the workplace. 
  • AFFIRMING THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE In other industrialized countries, CEOs are paid 10 to 25 times more than workers. In the US, CEO pay often reaches 400 times the average worker’s wages. The goal is to protect the right of workers to organize.
See more at iwj.org
Issue Title: 
God and Money: Turning the Tables
Issue Year: 
2017