Key members of North Texas Jobs with Justice's Workers Rights Board met for a planning session at First Community Church in East Dallas on April 26. The Workers Rights Board consists of professionals and community leaders who investigate worker justice issues, make recommendations, and make reports. In the past, they have looked at worker safety issues and immigrants rights issues, but, like the parent organization, they have concentrated their attention on the unemployment crisis for the current period.
Dr. Isabel DoCampo convened the meeting. Gene Lantz gave an overall view of the present crisis, including the assault on underlying democratic rights that makes further persecution of workers, with and without jobs, even more likely in future. Then began a round-robin discussion of ideas to make our efforts even more effective.
This web site has already begun work on the project. If there were sufficient funding for staff, it could grow into a "brick and mortar" center.
We need a good tool on paper and on line, to determine what needs to be done and how much help we might gather. Dr Jann Aldredge-Clanton of Baylor University started immediately on developing a flexible survey with ten or fewer questions
The two volunteers on this are starting with a PowerPoint presentation that could be used on-line as well as carried to local meetings and church congregations. We already have a video presentation on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5ow3QTbVWM. Several other Workers Rights Board videos, ours as well as other Jobs with Justice chapters, are available on YouTube.
We plan to develop a useful brochure of Workers Rights Board members who are willing to speak out against the unemployment crisis. We had an extensive discussion about carrying our message to legislators and other political leaders. We will have a table at the Texas AFL-CIO convention June 9-11 in Irving. We should be able to schedule some speaking opportunities there. In the month before Labor Day, Jobs with Justice tries to bring labor's message to church congregations. Our Speakers Bureau brochure should be a "rolling" listing, with new speakers coming forward all the time.
Some especially good training will be available at the National Jobs with Justice Conference in Washingto, DC, August 5-7. All the Workers Rights Board members are encouraged to go. The point was made that we will be more effective if we "target" a smaller list of organizations.
The Workers Rights Board intends to make more use of web sites and social media. A Facebook page is being set up right away. It will more an organizing tool as well as a way to disseminate information.
The group plans to meet again in approximately one month.