Big news! We are excited to announce the launch of LAJC’s newest program: the Worker Justice Program!
A key part of our 2022-2026 strategic plan, our new Worker Justice Program is rooted in the longtime efforts of our farmworker team, who as part of our Immigrant Advocacy Program have spent decades organizing and advocating for migrant workers across the state, from tomato pickers on the Eastern Shore, to Christmas tree workers in far southwest Virginia.
At the start of the pandemic, our farmworker team supported poultry workers in their demands for better workplace safety standards. The result? The nation’s first COVID-specific and enforceable workplace safety standards, standards that applied to all Virginia workers. This is just one of the countless ways this team has already made a difference for workers in our state.
The new Worker Justice Program will continue this work and will, over time, expand its mission to support the efforts of other low-wage Virginia workers to fight for the pay and treatment they deserve.
For the first time at LAJC, the program will be led by two co-directors, an attorney and a community organizer, who will set forth a vision rooted in collective power, centering working people themselves.
“The COVID pandemic just confirmed what we witness in every outreach and community event we participate in:, low-income workers and especially Black and immigrant workers are always left behind. We are ready to work alongside these essential workers to ensure they can thrive.”
Manuel Gago, Program Director, Worker Justice Program.
“Workers in Virginia are essential to our economy, and the low-wage workers we support often do crucial jobs that most of us take for granted. I am looking forward to helping our team develop new partnerships with communities across the state to create meaningful change.”
Jason Yarashes, Program Director, Worker Justice Program
Politicians regularly remark that Virginia is one of the best states for business, but far too often the cost of that boast is borne by the workers. Our team is ready to fight alongside those pushing to make Virginia a fairer and more equitable place to work.