While NWJP is mostly focused on legal and legislative strategies, we also do a good deal of outreach and education, to make sure that workers know their rights and have access to important resources.
In late 2017, NWJP received a grant to provide health and safety training for workers, especially hard-to-reach workers. NWJP Attorney Kate Suisman created a Spanish-language training program focused on chemical safety, and traveled throughout the state training workers. In partnership with the NW Forest Worker Center in Medford, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste in Woodburn, and the Voz Workers' Rights Education Project in Portland, over 60 workers were trained. NWJP recently was awarded another grant for the coming year, and Kate will again provide health and safety training to workers, this time with an emphasis on ergonomics.
In addition to the health and safety training, this year we have done nine bilingual Know Your Rights workshops. We partnered with organizations including PCUN, Growing Gardens, Clackamas County Hispanic Interagency Network Team, Adelante Mujeres, Latino Connection, and the Santa Cecilia Church in Beaverton. We have participated in eight tabling events at the Mexican Consulate. In total, we have engaged over 700 low-wage immigrant workers and counting in the following cities: Hillsboro, Gresham, Hood River, Beaverton, Oregon City, Medford, Woodburn, Forest Grove, Canby, and Portland. One of our trainers-Laura Galindo Palomera- said “A lot of the workers I talked to are discriminated against on a daily basis and they feel overwhelmed with threats and harassment. Engaging workers and reminding them of their workplace rights is the best way to ensure that they become their own advocates.”