Faithfully seeking justice with workers in the Memphis area

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In partnership with local unions, community organizations, and faith bodies, the members of Workers Interfaith Network have won the following victories with low-wage workers. Thank you for what you’ve allowed WIN to accomplish!

Partnered with workers to recover over $179,000 in unpaid wages, workers' compensation payments, and discrimination remedies
owed to them by unscrupulous employers. WIN's Memphis Workers’ Center project educates low-wage workers about their rights and uses a combination of organizing, negotiation, and legal assistance to win back unpaid wages.

Won the first pay raise for low-wage University of Memphis workers in four years, in partnership with the United Campus Workers union and the Progressive Student Alliance.
After years of pay freezes, WIN members took action with workers and students that resulted in a pay raise for low-wage workers that was three times as much as state legislators originally proposed.

Worked with the Shelby County Sheriff and District Attorney to treat wage theft as a crime.
After WIN's members delivered more than 1,200 petition signatures, law enforcement pledged to begin criminal investigations of employers who intentionally steal workers wages.

Trained more than 30 Latino immigrant construction workers on how to stay safe on the job in their native language. WIN's "More Than Training" safety program works to reduce the shockingly high death rate among Latino construction workers.

In partnership with the Memphis Building Trades Council, passed the Shelby County prevailing wage ordinance. The prevailing wage ensures that workers on county construction projects are paid good wages and benefits in keeping with the skills and training required of their craft. Prevailing wage laws also can mean safer working conditions and higher quality work performed for a government body.

Defeated a state bill to repeal living wage ordinances and ban local governments from raising workers wages at private companies. In partnership with faith, labor, and community groups from Middle and East Tennessee,WIN's members ensured that the Tennessee House rejected this bill which would have overturned the Memphis and Shelby County ordinances, lowered workers' wages and taken control away from local officials best equipped to decide on living wage ordinances for their local communities.

Covered More Workers Under the Memphis Living Wage Ordinance. WIN members worked with the new City Council to expand and improve the living wage ordinance passed by the Council in 2006. Now, contract workers for Memphis Light, Gas, and Water and being raised up to a living wage. Temporary City of Memphis workers also saw their wages raised by $2 per hour to $12 an hour to help offset the fact that the City does not provide them with benefits.

Passed a Living Wage for County Workers and Workers on County Contracts. Lobbying by WIN members led the Shelby County Commission to follow the example of the Memphis City Council in May 2007 by passing a living wage ordinance that brings county workers and workers employed on county contracts up to a wage of $10 per hour with insurance or $12 without insurance. The ordinance also includes an annual cost of living increase so that workers' wages won't fall behind.

Congress Passed First Minimum Wage Increase in a Decade. In partnership with Let Justice Roll, Interfaith Worker Justice, and hundreds of national and local groups, WIN members worked for the passage of the first federal minimum wage increase after a decade without a raise.

Won a 30% Pay Increase with Low Wage Workers at Vanderbilt. In coalition with the many Middle Tennessee faith, labor, and community partners, Workers Interfaith Network pressed Vanderbilt University to raise their workers up to a living wage. In March 2007, 600 Vanderbilt workers won a contract that took a big step toward the living wage by raising the lowest paid workers' wages by 30%.

Protected Quality Benefits and Working Conditions at Medegen. WIN organized Fayette County clergy and other people of faith to help workers at the Medegen medical parts plant win a fair contract after the company demanded cuts from workers, exhausting 12 hour shifts, and laid off union leaders who participated in a protest.

Won the state's first living wage ordinance in the Memphis City Council. The Memphis Living Wage Coalition, which WIN spearheaded, won the state's first living wage ordinance in the Memphis City Council on November 21st, 2006, after a three year campaign.
The living wage ordinance guarantees a living wage to workers on city service contracts. In October, the Council also passed new requirements for the city's PILOT property tax freeze program, including requiring companies that get new PILOTs to pay living wages and provide health insurance benefits.

Won a living wage for City of Memphis workers. Long term work by Workers Interfaith Network and its partners in the Memphis Living Wage Coalition led the Memphis City Council to adopt a living wage policy for its full-time and temporary workers, raising the wages of hundreds of low-wage workers who keep our city running.

Won a Fair Contract with Fred's Warehouse Workers
In 2005, Fred’s warehouse workers signed a union contract after more than 3 years of struggle for dignity and justice on the job. Workers Interfaith Network members stood with Fred’s workers and their union Workers United as together they defended their rights. The combination of workers’ determination and the faithful witness of Workers Interfaith Network won a contract which includes a pay raise, reduced health care costs, and a seniority and grievance system which will stop Fred’s previous practices of discrimination and favoritism.

Challenged the PictSweet company to end to workplace abuses at their California mushroom farm. Beginning in 2002, Workers Interfaith Network assisted the PictSweet workers organizing with the United Farm Workers by holding prayer vigils at the company’s national headquarters in Bells, TN, as well as meeting with grocery store managers who sell PictSweet products. After more than a decade of struggle, the workers finally won a contract that includes full family health care, a significant pay raise, and better safety procedures.

The future victories we can win with Mid-South workers depend on people just like you! Join Workers Interfaith Network today.

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  • The members of Workers Interfaith Network – people just like you – have won living wages and fair working conditions with thousands of workers.
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