As we wrap up our 15th year of providing much needed legal support for marginalized workers, we are sharing a few stories from some of the organizations we have partnered with over the years.
Our last story comes from our very first partner in this fight -- Ramon Ramirez, long term leader of Oregon’s Farmworker Union – PCUN:
I think PCUN has been successful on many fronts but one of the fronts that we’ve been really successful is protecting the rights of farmworkers. And without the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project being there, ready to file complaints, ready to file lawsuits against abuses and exploitation of farmworkers, we wouldn’t have gotten to the place that we’re at right now.
I think that it’s really awesome to have legal minds backing the organizing work. In addition to that, I think Michael Dale has played a really important role not only in the work here in Oregon but in our work nationally around immigration reform. I remember that Michael was our attorney on the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride that took us across the USA from Oregon, he was on the Oregon bus, and we went to Washington DC and then eventually to New York to fight for immigration reform, he was our attorney. But Michael has done a lot of international work around temporary foreign worker issues, making sure that when those workers, if they’re going to come up to Oregon that their rights are respected, and that they don’t undercut the rights of US workers. We’ve done a lot of work around pesticides, around, you know, I can’t count the number of lawsuits that we’ve filed against the Department of Labor, against EPA, and other state agencies to make sure that farmworker rights were respected.
NWJP has done so much to support PCUN over the years – I urge you to support NWJP now.
This long time partnership with PCUN is a model for how we work with other unions and organizations that are helping workers organize for more power, for a voice in their workplace. Because of the generous donations we get from our supporters, we are able to put resources into developing relationships with and supporting other organizations (like the Bakers’ Union, and the Burgerville Workers Union). Your support will help us carry on that critical mission.
When we started this project fifteen years ago, we wanted to fill that gap between worker organizing and the law. We have been very successful, but only because of the support from people like you. Since opening our doors, our small staff has helped thousands of Oregon’s workers hold abusive employers accountable and recover well over $4 million in unpaid wages and damages. We’ve educated thousands of workers, worker advocates, and lawyers about labor rights and immigrant rights. Our political advocacy has led to stronger legal protections for workers in Oregon and nationally, and we’ve helped keep anti-immigrant laws out of our communities. NWJP’s efforts are helping low-wage workers to build a fair economy.
As NWJP celebrates our 15th anniversary, we are asking you to join us as we commit to another 15 years of solidarity. Please join us by donating $15 a month to support our ongoing work. If a monthly donation does not work for you, please consider a generous one-time donation.
And thanks to several generous NWJP donors, the first $7,000 of new donations will be matched!
D. Michael Dale
P.S. NWJP is a non-profit that receives no funding from the government, and depends on the strong support of champions for justice like you in order to stand with workers like those at PCUN. You can help by donating online to the NEED Fund to support NWJP’s work at www.nwjp.org/get-involved