Jewish tradition demands that we be ethical employers and treat our workers fairly and with respect. Our laws prohibit taking advantage of our employees, withholding their wages, or subjecting them to dangerous working conditions. In modern times, leading rabbis have upheld the right to unionize and the right to a living wage as embodiments of Jewish values.
Worker rights are also human rights. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states: “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” It represents an awareness that workers need the strength of their collective power to argue for their own rights and interests in negotiations with their employers. THE UDHR also protects fair wages, equal pay for equal work, and protection against unemployment, along with other rights.
T'ruah supports workers across the United States and around the work in their campaigns for a more just workplace.
In addition to our work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (fighting labor trafficking by focusing on worker conditions), our current area of focus involves asking Jewish organizations to include comprehensive force majeur language in the contracts they sign. For more information, please see:
What happens if a labor dispute arises after I sign a contract? Suggested Contract Language from Interfaith Worker Justice