JLC New England is an organization committed to mobilizing the Jewish community to speak out in support of workplace equity—fair pay, a safe working environment, and basic job security.

The major JLC New England focus for 5776 is the Fight for $15, a campaign to raise the wages of low wage workers and improve their working conditions, whether in food services, healthcare, car washes, airports, or other low wage jobs. People who have full-time jobs in these sectors are unable to pay for the basics like food, rent or transportation. Shamefully, many have to apply for some form of public assistance— despite working full-time—in order to get by. Raising basic wages directly addresses income inequality, making it possible for low wage workers to attain self-sufficiency, and in the process turning recipients of public assistance into taxpayers. As part of the Fight for $15, JLC New England will be working to build strong vocal support among local Jews for several proposed pieces of Massachusetts state legislation to address low wages, the most important of which is Bill S.1024, an act to establish a living wage for employees of big box retail stores and fast food chains in the Commonwealth.

In addition to efforts to raise the earnings of low wage workers, JLC New England will be working as part of the RaiseUp Massachusetts Coalition to rally support for the proposed Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation now pending before the legislature and working on the campaign for a constitutional amendment instituting a graduated income tax for Massachusetts. JLC New England will also be working to educate employers and domestic workers to make sure that they are aware of rights mandated under the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and supporting organizing efforts by Wyndham Boston Beacon Hotel employees.

JLC New England has long played an important role in advocacy for workplace equity in the Commonwealth. Among its most recent contributions: advocating for passage of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which became law in July 2014, establishing basic workplace rights for nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers; supporting hotel employees at DoubleTree Hotel Cambridge, Le Meridien Hotel Boston, and Back Bay Hilton as they worked to elect collective representation, advocating for laid-off Hyatt Hotel housekeepers replaced by lower-paid outsourced workers achieve success in their fight for compensation; and in helping draft the Boston Wage Theft Executive Order.

For more information about JLC New England and how to get involved, go to: www.newenglandjewishlabor.org or contact newenglandjlc@jewishlabor.org.