About the Partnership for Working Families
The Partnership for Working Families
The Partnership’s community benefits model is taking hold in new cities. The Workers Defense Project and the local branch of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), both Partnership allies, have been working hard to ensure that working people in Travis County, Texas are afforded the compensation and respect that they deserve.
The Partnership is bringing light to the waste and recycling industry’s potential to be a powerful channel for good jobs and green development. At the annual Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) conference the week of December 10, we organized a workshop to share strategies our network has developed to transform the industry in a way that builds strong local economies.
On Black Friday, shoppers looking for holiday bargains weren’t the only ones at Walmart. Walmart workers and supporters rallied in 1,000 protests across 46 states. The actions had two goals: educating shoppers about the abysmal working conditions in Wal-Mart stores and suppliers; and showing strong solidarity to prevent Walmart bosses from retaliating against participating workers.
In California, an unprecedented statewide coalition turned around the state’s history of regressive tax measures and won two crucial statewide victories:
Proposition 30 passed with 54% support to raise $6-9 billion annually for California schools and restore cuts to vital programs and services. Having wealthy Californians pay their fair share will bring equity to the tax system.
As the ongoing privatization of public sector work continues to influence the lives of more and more Americans, In the Public Interest, a project of the Partnership, continues to provide people with the knowledge to recognize the risks of privatization and the tools to fight against these risks. On October 15, Donald Cohen, chair of the project, spoke at the LIUNA Pacific Southwest Regional Conference in Monterey, CA on these issues.
Partnering with community organizations – in part by creating real and lasting opportunities for low-income workers and workers of color – yields real dividends for building trades unions. That was the message delivered at the 2012 Central Regional Conference organized by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, where the Partnership’s Deputy Director, Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Matt Brusky both spoke to about 100 IUPAT business managers, organizers and member-leaders.
Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland, Ohio and head of the city's building trades unions, Loree Soggs, at a forum of community, labor, business, and union leaders, both publicly pledged that they would work to advance a community benefits agenda for development in the city.
In testimony before the Texas House of Representatives on July 11, 2012, Shar Habibi, In the Public Interest Resource Center Director, warned legislators that ill-conceived privatization initiatives could lead to higher costs, a decrease in service quality, missed deadlines, unaccountable contractors and reduction in transparency.
The Partnership’s Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel and Ben Beach will both be invited panelists in an August 3 symposium on community benefits convened by the City of Cleveland. The symposium, entitled, “Community Benefits: Making Development Accountable” follows on Mayor Frank Jackson’s call, in his 2012 State of the City Address, for increased use of Community Benefits Agreements on major development projects.
The Partnership has been working closely with Policy Matters Ohio and Mayor Jackson’s office to advance the community benefits conversation in Cleveland, where billions of dollars’ worth of new development are expected in the coming years.
Our cities’ waste and recycling systems are hopelessly out of date, failing to address the imperative to create high quality jobs in urban areas and the urgent need to address local environmental injustice and impending climate change. When labor, community, environmental justice and climate justice leaders work together, they can make real change that maximizes outcomes on both levels. That was the message delivered by the Partnership’s Deputy Director, Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel, at the Labor Leaders’ Climate Forum organized by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute.