Jobs with Justice (www.jwj.org) is a national network of local coalitions that bring together labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and student activists to fight for working people. Founded in 1986 by a group of national unions, JwJ currently includes members in 46 cities in 24 states. In Indiana, there are JwJ coalitions headquartered in South Bend, Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Evansville. In 2012, national JwJ merged with American Rights at Work (www.americanrightsatwork.org).
2017 Officers (South-Central Indiana Jobs with Justice):
Rob Deppert (Facilitator)
Joe Varga (Spokesperson)
Pat Brantlinger (Treasurer)
2015 Organizational Members
IU Progressive Faculty/Staff Coalition
St. Paul Catholic Center, Peace & Justice Task Force
Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Task Force
White River Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Below are highlights of SCI JwJ’s history
1995: Bloomington-area JwJ coalition (called Community Labor Action) founded, under the leadership of Josh Cazares. First elected officers (September 1997): Josh Cazares, Liz Feitl, Milton Fisk, Jeff Terry.
1997: Co-sponsored a Global Exchange speaker on cross-border labor, in response to the announced closing of Thomson (formerly RCA).
1998: Participated in a rally honoring Thomson workers, whose plant was closing.
2000: With IBEW 2249, co-organized a rally with 600 people to protest GE’s transfer of 1,400 jobs from the Bloomington GE plant to Celaya, Mexico. Guest speakers: Ric Casilli (IUE-CWA 201 business agent at Lynn, Massachusetts, GE plant) and Dan La Botz (writer on Mexican labor).
2001: With AFSCME 2487, helped derail the privatization of Bloomington’s sewage plant management.
2001-2002: The coalition’s Workers’ Rights Board heard three cases of alleged worker abuse, involving the firing of six women at Motel 6, the replacement of workers at Courtyard Marriott by Eastern European contract workers, and the firing of a Girls Inc. staffer.
2002-2005: Bloomington City Council passed living wage ordinance, capping four years of work by local JwJ.
2005: Approved bylaws, became member coalition of national Jobs with Justice.
2007: Joined CWA 4730 in a pre-game rally outside Assembly Hall against outsourcing of University services; helped collect 6,000 signatures on an anti-outsourcing petition, presented to IU trustees.
2009: Incorporated with the State of Indiana as South-Central Indiana Jobs with Justice. Supported passage of the Employee Free Choice Act by gathering postcards, recruiting speakers, co-organizing a Chamber of Commerce picket, and publishing a guest column with 50 local signatories.
2010: Partnered with Support Our Schools to persuade MCCSC school board to put a referendum on the ballot; coordinated with MCCSC Referendum Campaign Committee to build voter support, secured endorsements from 12 labor unions.
2011: Fought so-called Right to Work by mobilizing protesters and organizing public forums in Bloomington, Spencer, and Loogootee. Mobilized community support for striking workers at Indiana Limestone Company in Bedford.
2012: Participated in statehouse rallies in opposition to so-called "Right to Work" legislation; supported Steelworkers Local 7-0030 in Mitchell, Ind., in its struggle to get Blue Sage to negotiate a first contract, including helping to organize direct action at Blue Sage headquarters in Austin, Texas; testified about Hyatt Hotel’s labor record to Bloomington City Council; organized public forum on public-school funding, teachers' collective bargaining, and the policy of “grading” schools.
2013: Joined "Raise the Wage Indiana" campaign; gathered endorsements of comprehensive immigration reform from every sector of Monroe County and Bloomington government; assisted CWA 4730’s fight against proposed privatization of IU parking operations.