On February 11, 2016 five CCT members headed down to Washington DC for the Jobs With Justice National Conference. For the past three years this organization has been supporting CCT by providing information, solidarity and resources that can help our growing organization become a part of much broader movements sweeping the nation
Upon arrival, CCT members and employees were excited to jump into the conference, which included talks and workshops centered on the topics of racism fair wage and labor rights. In addition to workshops and training sessions, the conference also made time for networking and direct action.
On the following morning, we prepped for that evenings direct action by discussing campaigns like “fight for fifteen.” Discussions repeatedly concluded that the key to a dignified working class and a healthy society is to demand dignified wages from large corporations who can afford to pay them, but haven’t yet done so. The bottom line is, that corporations are key in the fight for social justice, for they make millions by keeping wages low for the masses while they invest the most in their best paid employees.
One example that truly illustrated this point is how a certain tech company in San Francisco pays its bus drivers $12.25 per hour, while the bus they drive is fully equipped with mood lights, wifi and various seating options to ensure the comfort of the corporate technicians they drive. its important to note that $12.25 is the minimum wage in a city where the cost of a one bedroom apartment is at its least $4,000.00 a month and the average salary of the shuttle patrons is $150,000.00 a year. One speaker, rightfully noted that if the tech industry invested just a little less in the shuttle’s amenities and more on the shuttle’s drivers, the drivers might be able to afford housing in the city they work in. By not wanting to raise their worker’s wages, San Francisco’s corporations are colonizing the city and keeping its working-class citizens in poverty.
Aside from the direct action, another highlight of this conference were the casual conversations that arose with members of other organizations. Throughout the conference there were such opportunities – over meals, and during guided discussions that were part of training sessions. In the words of one CCT member “this conference opened my eyes to the extent of support we workers actually have, I never would have imagined that so many people were working to ensure justice and equality.” Indeed, meeting members of other organizations who fight similar fights as we do has always been an incentive for CCT’s work with Jobs With Justice.