Greetings and welcome to the first edition of the Fair Work News, our new quarterly e-newsletter.
As we begin 2017, we do so with the belief that our work is more important than ever. All of us at Fair Work Center know we we’ve got our work cut out for us protecting the gains made over the past eight years. We are in the middle of a national assault on workers and our families, particularly those of us who are most likely to have our rights violated at work: immigrants, people of color and/or LGBTQ workers. I take hope in that our country has a long history of movement builders and lawyers working together to protect our basic civil liberties, and I was buoyed to see that collaboration on display at airports around the country over this past weekend.
Here in Seattle and in Washington State, our community has won some of the strongest labor standards in the country. We will continue to push that needle and ensure that all workers in our region know their rights and have the tools and support to enact them.
In 2016, Fair Work Center talked to more than 9,000 workers about their employment rights, helped recover tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and supported dozens of wrongfully-terminated workers in getting their jobs back. More importantly, we built collaborations with dozens of movement builders, community organizations and legal advocates who are prepared to work together in the coming years to protect all workers’ rights.
In 2017, we will expand our reach and our capacity to support more workers from across the state, regardless of immigration status. Despite the direction that our country may be headed, we are confident the Pacific Northwest will continue to lead the way in raising standards for workers and defending our civil rights.
Thank you for supporting Fair Work Center, and thank you for your role in protecting each other and our rights.
Nicole Vallestero Keenan
In this first edition of the Fair Work News:
- Fair Work Center’s 2016 Annual Report
- Fair Work Legal Clinic Case Briefs
- Interview with Founder and President of Fair Work Center, David Rolf
- Interview with Founding Donors:
- Save the date: Sing Into Spring fundraiser for Fair Work Center – March 23, 2017, The Royal Room
We are excited to share our first Annual Report. The report highlights some of our successes from 2016 and includes stories from workers and our partners in the Fair Work Collaborative.
The case briefs contain a sampling of cases that have come in to the Fair Work Legal Clinic. Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect the privacy of these workers, but we share them to give .
David Rolf is President of SEIU 775, the union of long-term care providers in Washington that founded Fair Work Center in 2015 and continues to invest heavily in our success. In this interview we talk to David about why he got involved the labor movement, where the idea of Fair Work Center came from, and what he would do to improve the welfare of all working people.
Fair Work Center is incredibly grateful to our Founding Donors: Breskin Johnson & Townsend, Terrell Marshall Law Group, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, and Frank Freed Subit & Thomas. These organizations have all made deep, lasting investments in the success of Fair Work Center.
In this newsletter we bring you interviews with:
- Dan Johnson of Breskin Johnson & Townsend
- Toby Marshall of Terrell Marshall Law Group
- Linday Halm, Jamal Whitehead, Adam Berger of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender
- Mike Subit of Frank Freed Subit & Thomas
We ask all of these leading employment attorneys how they got into employment law and some of the challenges and solutions they see for workers today.
Please join us for Sing Into Spring on March 23, 2017 a the Royal Room in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. Sing Into Spring will be a karakoe fundraiser for Fair Work Center and we hope to bring together all of our friends, family, partners and allies in this work to raise the resources we need to continue fighting for the rights of all workers.