The Center for Workers’ Rights hopes to serve as an institutional advocate for its clients and as an expert in workers’ rights issues in the local community. As we grow as an organization, we will advocate for local workers’ rights by pushing for better working conditions and conducting industry- or employer-targeted campaigns. Through our connection with our clients and the community, the Center will develop community organizing projects and provide research and legal support for those campaigns.
After identifying a reoccurring issue faced by workers attending the Workers’ Rights Clinics, the Center will develop an understanding of the economic circumstances causing the particular workplace injustice and analyze the structure of the industry or company the Center seeks to change. The Center will investigate the business, what the working conditions are for our client and other workers, how it affects community health and the environment, what its political power is, what laws and regulations it is bound by, the interest of the workers in engaging in an organizing campaign, and other relevant factors that might influence the success of an advocacy campaign.
To protect workers who engage in advocacy campaigns, the Center will also research legal protections for collective action and represent these workers should their employers retaliate against them.
The Center will seek to join and build coalitions in order to further our efforts to advocate for low-wage workers. Low-wage workers who are experiencing injustice at the workplace are often simultaneously experiencing issues in other aspects of their lives, including housing, family relationships, education, and violence. As a result, developing strong relationships with other organizations that serve low-income individuals in the Sacramento Valley will be important to ensure these workers access all available resources in the community.
Several legal services and worker advocacy groups in California and nationally have created issue-specific campaigns and remedies for low-wage worker issues. The Center hopes to bring the expertise of these existing groups to the Sacramento community by implementing service or advocacy campaigns in partnership with existing organizations.
Connecting Clients to Current Workers’ Rights Issues
Because of the Center’s proximity to the capital, when other workers’ rights advocacy groups are promoting changes in law or educating state officials on current workers’ rights issues, the Center will assist in connecting the groups with local workers who have faced the problems the policy seeks to remedy.
The advocacy projects undertaken by the Center for Workers’ Rights will give a voice to low-wage workers in the community. For example, workers who have continually experienced wage theft at the hands of a specific employer will speak out against this employer, demand their unpaid wages, and alert the community at large about the unfair practices of that business.