Painting 3 States and the Capital Orange

Painting 3 States and the Capital Orange

On the weekend of July 20 and 21, New Labor members spread out over 3 states and Washington DC. Members played important roles at Interfaith Worker Justice’s (IWJ) Worker Center convening in Chicago, IL, at the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Congress in Washington DC, at a construction workplace health and safety class in Brooklyn, NY and at a worker rights seminar at our Lakewood, NJ center.

Three members went to IWJs Worker Center convening in Chicago, where worker centers from around the country came together to support ideas and solutions to problems their members routinely face.

For the members that went, it was important for New Labor to be there.
As Diego sates, “It’s important to be a part of a network and having relationships with other worker center in it. Our participation helps build New Labor. At the convening, others see New Labor as the important worker center in NJ with different activities and campaigns. By being there, there is a mutual benefit for members and the organization.

And Milton adds, “It was important because we are known and then recognized at national level. It helps us grow. These kinds of events are good because we are more recognized and others already knew about us.”

Workplace Health and Safety class
Four of New Labor’s “enlaces de seguridad” (safety liaisons) from the Newark center provided OSHA-10 construction workplace health and safety training for participants at Make the Road’s Brooklyn NY office. Safety liaisons have been specifically trained to assist in facilitation of our peer-to-peer construction health and safety curriculum. In addition to have done training for Newark members and residents, the enlaces had previously trained workers from Worker Justice Project, also of Brooklyn. They have also been specifically trained to recognize residential construction workplace hazards while conducting safety audits of residential construction worksites.

All of the enlaces got something out of their participation as trainers of these classes. For Jonas, it’s something that motivates him. For Norlan, he likes to share the knowledge he’s acquired through New Labor. And for Selvin it’s part of his identity as a member and enlace of New Labor.

When discussing the training itself, Edison realizes how important is for us at New Labor to showcase our methodology (Small Group Activity Method. And how was it received by Make the Road participants? All enlaces used superlatives: as true professionals, as a good example to follow, satisfied, a good connection between facilitators and participants was established. Well done!

Three members participated in NDWA’s National Congress in Washington DC. 40 groups from around the country also participated. Domestic workers and members from Lakewood recently approved New Labor to join the NDWA. At the Congress, participants discussed a common future for all domestic workers around the United States and ways of mutual support for groups in the Alliance.

Members again echo the importance of their participation. Benita states, “We’re part of something bigger; as we learned to defend our rights here at New Labor, we also realize that the same issues are faced in other areas of the US. And this also a way to build the organization.”

Silvia also adds, “It was important for us to go and see what other groups are doing to confront the problems they face. That way we can put some of those efforts into practice.”

Although our first time participating, the reaction was good. Both said they were seen as leaders helping to run New Labor.

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