About Us

Steering Committee   |   Executive Board   |   Mission   |   Principles   |   History   |   Testimonials

Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice

In the late 1990s, workers at the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press went on strike to demand living wages and decent benefits. The strike mobilized rank and file workers and reinvigorated the labor movement with the understanding that workers can't win alone.

The strikers toured different cities to talk about their struggles. In many places they met Jobs with Justice coalition members. Several of the newspaper strikers attended the 1999 Jobs with Justice annual meeting in Kentucky. They were inspired by the solidarity and power that coalitions demonstrated and returned to launch Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice (SEM-JwJ).

Since SEM-JwJ was formed, we have rallied with Operating Engineers protesting firings at a leading downtown Detroit hotel,
mobilized labor unions and the community to support health care for all, helped laundry workers with UNITE/HERE win a contract, helped pass living wage ordinances in Detroit, Southfield and other Southeast Michigan communities, organized Workers Rights Boards to call attention to the plight of unemployed workers and oppose privatization in Detroit public schools and organized support rallies for workers at a suburban auto dealership and helping them win union recognition through the UAW.

National Jobs with Justice

Jobs with Justice engages workers and allies in campaigns to win justice in their workplaces and communities. JwJ was founded in 1987 with the vision of lifting up workers' rights struggles as part
of a larger campaign for economic and social justice. We believe in long-term multi-issue coalition building, grassroots base-building and organizing and strategic militant action as the foundation for building a grassroots movement.

We also believe that by engaging a broad community of allies, we can win bigger victories. We reach working people through the organizations that represent them; unions, congregations, community organizations; and directly as JwJ activists. Nearly 100,000 people have signed the Jobs with Justice pledge to Be There at least five times a year for someone else's struggle as well as their own.

In more than 40 cities in 25 states across the country, we are building coalitions of labor, religious, student and community organizations that are committed to each other for the long haul. Our campaigns make a difference for workers facing hostile bosses, knowing they are not alone in their struggle. At JwJ, solidarity is a two-way street: when communities come out for unions, they can expect unions to come out for them. Union victories are crucial, but they are not enough. We must maintain a strong commitment that our coalitions will weigh in on community fights, as well.

Check out the National Jobs with Justice chronological history (archive link) and Friends and Allies (archive link)