Senator Elizabeth Warren Addresses 2015 JLC Human Rights Awards Dinner

March 19, 2015, New York, NY: The Jewish Labor Committee presented this year's Human Rights Awards to Marc Perrone, newly elected international president of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Julie Kushner, Director of United Auto Workers District 9A. Congressman Jerrold Nadler addressed the JLC's Human Rights Awards Dinner, as did Senator Elizabeth Warren - via video message to the gathering (see it by clicking on image, below.) Stuart Appelbaum, President of the JLC and of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW, MC'd the evening. Other speakers included Michael Goodwin, President of OPEIU, Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, and two brave carwasheros, on strike for the past four months in their effort to gain dignity on the job through a union.

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The Only Hope for Peace is a Negotiated Two-State Solution

March 18, 2015, New York, NY – Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, issued the following statement the morning after Israel’s national elections:

"While it is too soon to know which party will be able to form a governing coalition, it appears that Likud is in better position to do so after Tuesday's Israeli elections. We couldn't disagree more strongly with Benjamin Netanyahu's statement that there will never be a Palestinian state under his watch and we believe that regardless of last-minute campaign rhetoric, the only hope for peace is a negotiated two-state solution."

Human Rights Awards Dinner March 19th 2015 in NYC

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We are delighted to announce the 2015 JLC Human Rights Dinner honoring Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers, and Julie Kushner, Director of United Automobile Workers, Region 9A.

Make your reservations now. Click HERE for an RSVP form.
Just fill in the form, print it out, and either send it back to us via fax — 212-477-1918 — as an email attachment to, or by mail to
Jewish Labor Committee – 140 West 31st Street, 3rd Floor – New York NY 10001

You may make your reservation using a credit card: space is on the RSVP form, and you can also send us an email and write where to call you and when would be good.

Any questions, just call us at 212-477-0707.

A Grand Alliance to Save the U.S. Public Postal Service. Please sign the pledge now!

February 16, 2015 - The Jewish Labor Committee is joining with more than 60 other national organizations to form A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. Please sign this pledge to protect the public Postal Service.

The United States Postal Service is a wonderful national treasure, enshrined in the Constitution and supported by the American people. Without any taxpayer funding, the USPS serves more than 150 million households and businesses each day, providing affordable, universal mail service to all­ – including rich and poor, rural and urban, without regard to age, nationality, race or gender.

The Postal Service and postal jobs are threatened by those who would undermine the postal services and dismantle this great public institution. Even some postal executives have been complicit in the drive toward the destruction of the Postal Service and ultimate privatization.

Continue reading "A Grand Alliance to Save the U.S. Public Postal Service. Please sign the pledge now!" »

JLC Urges Prime Minister Netanyahu to Reconsider Invitation to Address U.S. Congress

February 11, 2015 -- Jewish Labor Committee President Stuart Appelbaum issued the following statement regarding the upcoming speech by Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, DC:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress has created an unnecessary strain in U.S.-Israeli relations. The Jewish Labor Committee urges the Prime Minister to reconsider his acceptance of this invitation, and to seek another venue to express his concerns to the U.S. Congress about the negotiations taking place with Iran over its nuclear program.

As a democracy and an ally of the United States, Israel has enjoyed bipartisan support in America. This longstanding support has not been a Republican or a Democratic issue, but rather one based on shared values between our two countries. The invitation by a Republican leader to a foreign leader that bypassed the usual protocol by not informing the President of the United States , and the Prime Minister’s plan to address Congress in the near future, has put an unnecessary strain on this relationship, injecting the U.S. government into the upcoming Israeli elections.

Continue reading "JLC Urges Prime Minister Netanyahu to Reconsider Invitation to Address U.S. Congress" »

Solidarity with workers at Sheraton hotels in Ethiopia and Maldives!

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The IUF, an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations; the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages; hotels, restaurants and catering services; and all stages of tobacco processing has reached out internationally on an issue that should br of concern to us all. Sheraton hotels and resorts are part of the Starwood Group, whose other brands include Westin, St. Regis, Méridien, W Hotels and the Luxury Collection. While Starwood calls them "distinct lifestyle brands" - upscale accommodations for affluent travelers and vacationers, the IUF reports that brutal violations of the human rights of the company's employees can be part of that distinct lifestyle.
Recently, workers at Sheraton hotels in Ethiopia and Maldives sought to exercise a basic human right: negotiate through their unions their employment terms and conditions. They got Sheraton management's full service abuse treatment - brutal mass dismissals and intimidation.

Carrying Forward the Dream

by Rita Freedman

January 18th, 2015 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “dream” has become a credo for those seeking a just world.

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight....With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."

Dr. King never pretended that this summit would be reached easily. He left these words as a touchstone for future generations.

Continue reading "Carrying Forward the Dream " »

On the vote of University of California Graduate Students on BDS

December 19th, 2014 - After reviewing the recent vote by members of UAW Local 2865 on the issue of whether or not to support the local’s Joint Council’s proposal to support a policy of BDS – i.e., boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel, the Jewish Labor Committee has some serious concerns. The statewide union represents between 12,000 and 13,000 graduate student workers - readers, tutors, teaching assistants (TAs), and others - at the nine teaching campuses of the University of California.

A number of election irregularities have been alleged. Prior to the election, members of the local opposed to the passage of the referendum raised questions about the way the election has been conducted. They felt outnumbered and intimidated at meetings of Local 2865’s Executive, and felt that they were unable to get fair access to the local’s membership to explain their opposition to the proposed resolution. They felt that there were an inadequate number of polling places, and that the distribution of the polling places was done intentionally to favor members who might be positively disposed to the resolution.

Moreover, a very small percentage of the membership actually voted. Local 2865 reported that a mere 2,168 members voted, out of 13,000 members total. This represents approximately 17 % of the membership. In addition, apparently graduate students at any UC campus were able to join the local at the polling places immediately before voting, so the potential electorate approached 52,000 individuals.

Out of 13,000 members, 1,411 voted in support of the resolution – 65 % of the total votes, but only 11 % of 13,000 members, and 2.7 % of 52,000 potential voters. This is hardly a “testament to union democracy,” as Local 2865 has claimed.

The referendum also had a second item, to which voters could only check off in the affirmative, with no way to vote "no." On this item, 1,136 voters – 52 % of the total voters, but only 8.7 % of the local’s membership, and 2 % of the potential electorate -- also pledged “not to `take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel until such time as these universities take steps to end complicity with dispossession, occupation, and apartheid.” As with the first item voted on, there is no indication that those who checked off this “pledge” are representative of the membership of Local 2865.

As to the issue itself, in 2007, the highest leadership of the UAW – it’s International President – signed onto a Statement of Opposition to Divestment From or Boycotts of Israel along with the presidents of every other major U.S. labor union. On November 17 of this year, Gary Jones, the Director of UAW Region 5, which includes California , wrote to the leadership of Local 2865 that the UAW’s position had not changed.

The Local 2865 measure contradicts the position of the UAW, as it
   1) calls on the University of California to divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation and apartheid;
   2) calls on the UAW International to divest from these same entities;
   3) calls on the US government to end military aid to Israel .

The Jewish Labor Committee agrees with the vast majority of the labor movement in the United States that - like most other sectors of society in the U.S. - does not support BDS, but rather favors a two-state solution brought about by an honest peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and believes that singling out Israel and Israeli academic institutions in this way in fact undermines these peace efforts.

JLC Supports President Obama’s Efforts to Reform “Severely Flawed” U.S. Immigration System

President Stuart Appelbaum Calls on Congress to Enact Comprehensive Reform

November 21, 2014 - New York, NY: Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, just issued the following statement:

As an organization founded by working-class Jewish immigrants and their children, with roots in the labor movement, we know that immigrants enrich our country, culturally, economically, and socially. The Jewish Labor Committee has for many years supported meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform. While the United States Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the House of Representatives has unfortunately refused to act.

Aware that this is a pressing need directly affecting millions of people who work in the United States, their families and their communities, we therefore applaud President Obama's efforts to take steps to ensure that families are not torn apart, that undocumented immigrants can emerge from the shadows, that those who have committed crimes are held to account for those crimes, and that the borders of the United States are made more secure.

We call on all members of Congress to act NOW to make the changes announced by President Obama in the severely flawed immigration system of the United States permanent, and work in a bipartisan fashion to enact comprehensive reform as envisioned by the legislation that is still stalled in Congress. It is the right thing to do, and the time is now.

Philly Rallies for Public School Teachers and Schools

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Protestors shut down Broad Street, Philadelphia's main thoroughfare.
Photograph by Jessica Kourkounis for Education Week (additional photos below)

October 16, 2014 – Philadelphia: Community members from various sectors demonstrated a week after the city's School Reform Commission (SRC) announced, without notice or discussion, that it was not going to honor Philadelphia's public school teachers' contracts {collectively bargained between the city and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT)} after the end of this school year. "That's 16,000 teachers who will be forced to accept terms that are dictated to them by the SRC," Philadelphia JLC Director Michael Hersch told us.

Continue reading "Philly Rallies for Public School Teachers and Schools" »

Victory for the "Hyatt 100" - $1 million to the fired housekeepers and ...!

October 8, 2014 - Five years ago, three Hyatt Hotels in the Boston area abruptly fired 98 housekeepers. The hotels brought in replacement workers, paying them roughly half the hourly wage. The fired housekeepers had been told to train these new housekeepers who turned out to be their replacements.
The fired workers didn't belong to a union, but they quickly approached a local of UNITE-HERE. A nationwide boycott of Hyatt hotels and then a global boycott were among the results. The Jewish Labor Committee, its regional offices and members jumped in to support the workers. An historic settlement was reached with most Hyatt hotels, but not the ones in the Boston area. So the New England JLC kept up its activism.
Right from the beginning, the NE JLC was in the fight with both feet. Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Temple Hillel B'nai Torah and a co-chair of NE JLC along with our regional director Marya Axner, mobilized congregants, rabbis and JLC members. to support the boycott of the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Boston Harbor and Hyatt Regency Cambridge.
Rabbi Penzner drafted a petition signed by Jewish clergy around the country and worked to keep religious groups from holding events at Hyatt hotels. She traveled to Chicago to confront Hyatt executives and rallied clergy to disrupt shareholder meetings. The NE JLC participated in rallies (as did JLC in other parts of the country), arranged for letters to be written and helped keep the issue in front of the public.
Finally, a few weeks ago, the Boston-area Hyatts gave in, agreeing to pay $1 million to the fired housekeepers and offering them hiring preference at future Hyatt-operated hotels.
All of us at the JLC are proud of the work that the NE JLC did on behalf of the housekeepers and of the fact that the Boston Globe story and editorial in particular highlighted Rabbi Penzner's activity, which were so important to this victory.

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(l-r: Sandra Korn, Dave Borrus. Martha Plotkin, Amy Mazur, Roberta Bauer, Marya Axner, Jim Marshall, Dick Bauer, Stephanie Ainbinder, and Glen Dansker at a demonstration in Boston, July 26th, 2012.)

JLC turns out to support Philadelphia's McDonald's workers

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September 4, 2014 – Philadelphia: About 150 people turned out to support Philadelphia's McDonald's workers, as marches and rallies took place across the United States in support of fast food workers on strike for better wages and working conditions. The local event was sponsored by `Fight for Philly' and `Fast Food Forward'.

We gathered outside the McDonald's at the corner of Broad Street and Girard Avenue on behalf of striking McDonald's employees who earn a meager $7.25 and are victims of wage theft.

The Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee is involved with campaigns to raise the minimum wage and `Fast Food Forward'. Three Philadelphia JLC Board members - Bill Epstein, Jesse Kudler, and Sylvia Lieberman - were present, as was a group of younger people, representing Habonim Dror, the Labor Zionist Youth Movement (in the vertical photo, above).

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Bill Epstein (at right), long-time Philadelphia JLC Board member, along with representatives of the `Fight for $15' campaign to raise the hourly minimum wage in Philadelphia to $15.

It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

A Labor Day message from Stuart Appelbaum

The Torah provides a moral imperative: “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” In practical terms in today’s economic environment, that means at the very least we should support a just minimum wage – a wage that will enable working people to support themselves and their families. And we must partner with others to ensure that it happens.

We in the Jewish Labor Committee are proud to be part of this campaign both on the federal level and in Alaska, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington DC, Los Angeles or wherever state and local governments are attempting to act while the Congress fails to.

The current federal minimum wage isn’t a living wage. At $7.25 an hour, today’s full-time minimum-wage worker makes just $15,080 a year. Even in a family with two people working minimum-wage jobs, household income hovers at the poverty level. And that’s assuming they are lucky enough to have full-time jobs.

Moreover, the makeup of minimum-wage workers has changed. Partly because of the latest economic downturn, more low-wage workers today are older and better educated than ever. In addition, more of those earning the minimum wage are people supporting their families, not teens earning money for movie tickets.

Meanwhile, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has plummeted. From January 1981 to April 1990, the federal minimum wage was never raised. In 2007, Congress raised the federal minimum wage by $2.10, to $7.25 per hour, as a first step toward restoring it to its historic value. But for the minimum wage to have the same purchasing power today that it had back in 1968, it would have to be more than $10 per hour now. That is why the federal rate is still not enough to support a family, and those living in communities where the state or city minimum wage has been raised a bit face a similar challenge.

American Jews should remember the situation confronting so many of our ancestors, who could earn only poverty wages in the garment trades and other sectors when they first arrived in the United States.

Continue reading "It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage" »

Unprovoked Rocket Attacks from Gaza Must Cease

July 11, 2014 – New York: Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, issued the following statement today:

As there is no let up in the unprovoked rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli towns and cities and as Israel considers enhanced ways to stop the assault, the Jewish Labor Committee expresses its solidarity with people, government and defense forces of Israel.

The Government of the State of Israel has both the right and the obligation to defend the country against a barrage of rockets from beyond its borders. Indeed, no country would be expected to do otherwise. It is the responsibility of the Government to defend all who live and work within the country.

After a long period of relative quiet in terms of rocket fire from Gaza, the most recent escalation by Hamas has placed the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israelis in mortal danger, and we condemn the leaders of Hamas for their actions.

Having joined the government of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas has made it nearly impossible for the PA to continue to pursue a negotiated peace with Israel.

Hamas has endangered Palestinians by deliberately embedding rocket and missile launchers in civilian population centers, near homes, schools and medical facilities, placing a high proportion of the Palestinians in Gaza at risk when the Israeli Defense Forces respond to rockets and missiles fired indiscriminately at civilian centers within Israel.

We hope that Hamas will immediately cease firing rockets and missiles into Israel, and that as a result Israel will cease its retaliation

Our heats go out to the innocent victims on both sides of this confrontation. The death and suffering produced by this most recent round of military conflict must end. Irresponsible decisions will only lead to more of the same, and further harm the chances for a mutually-agreed upon two-state solution to the legitimate needs of the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Passes!

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July 10, 2014 – Boston: Since December of 2012, the New England Jewish Labor Committee (NE JLC) has been working to pass the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (DWBR), which would establish basic workplace rights for nannies, housekeepers and caregivers employed in private homes. For example, the NE JLC mobilized people to go the State House to advocate for the DWBR, organized living room talks to raise awareness of conditions for domestic workers among those who employ them, and spoke about the DWBR at several synagogues. Through the advocacy of the NE JLC, the Somerville Board of Alderman voted unanimously to support the DWBR.

The DWBR passed in the State House and was signed by the Governor on July 2nd, 2014. NE JLC will continue to work to educate the Jewish community and help implement the bill. For more information, contact Marya Axner, NE JLC Regional Director, at

Jewish Labor Committee Condemns Murder of Palestinian Teenager

July 7, 2014: New York, NY -- Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, issued the following statement:

The Jewish Labor Committee condemns the brutal murder of the Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and we offer our sympathy to the family and friends of this innocent boy and to the people of Palestine who mourn his death, just as we do for those who mourn the death of the three Israeli innocents who were murdered.

Those who committed this heinous act must be brought to justice through the rule of law, not through acts of unlawful revenge. We are encouraged that six suspects have quickly been apprehended. It is in both Israel's interest and the Palestinian Authority’s that Israeli authorities judge Israeli and Palestinian terrorists against the same standards, as reflected in recent Israeli government statements.

Incitement and violence will only lead to more violence and deaths.

The brutal murders of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel have made even more difficult the pursuit for a just peace between Israel and the Palestinian people, to which we remain committed.

Jewish Labor Committee Condemns Murders of Three Israel Teenagers

July 1, 2014: New York, NY -- Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, issued the following statement:

The Jewish Labor Committee condemns the kidnapping and brutal murder of the three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel.

Those who committed these heinous acts must be pursued and brought to justice. We regret that this has further complicated the pursuit for a just peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and we offer our sympathy to the family and friends of these three innocent boys and to the people of Israel who mourn their death.

Israeli President Peres receives Congressional Gold Medal
Israeli President Shimon Peres, center, at Congressional Gold Medal ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, AP, in the Citizen-Times)

June 26, 2014: Washington, DC -- Israeli President Shimon Peres received the Congressional Gold Medal today in an audience, which included Jewish Labor Committee Acting Executive Director Rita Freedman, filling the Capitol Rotunda.

After a career in public service that began before the State of Israel was founded, the 90-year old will be leaving the presidency in a matter of a few weeks. But he does not intend to give up his quest for peace. The speakers lauding him were Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Continue reading "Israeli President Peres receives Congressional Gold Medal" »

At Jewish Labor Committee Human Rights Awards Dinner, Al Sharpton calls for healing

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(l-r) Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network; Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and JLC President Stuart Appelbaum at the JLC's awards dinner in New York, June 19th. (Miller Photography)

By Miriam Moster (JTA) Friday, June 20, 2014 -- Al Sharpton hasn’t always had the best relationship with the Jewish community.

But on Thursday night, he had a place of honor at the Jewish Labor Committee’s annual Human Rights Awards Dinner in New York.

Sharpton addressed the gathering to present the group’s Human Rights Award to Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

And Sharpton was in a bridge-building (perhaps even contrite?) mood.

“We that have done things that has led to the division of blacks and Jews have to work vigorously to heal the wounds that we’ve had in this city and correct the behavior that has divided us, and we say whatever we’ve done, we’ve got to do better,” Sharpton said.

Back in the 1990s, Sharpton was accused by critics of incitement during the Crown Heights riots and in protests targeting a Jewish-owned store in Harlem that boiled over into a deadly arson and shooting attack. But in recent years, he has achieved a degree of mainstream respectability, mending relations with old adversaries like the late New York mayor Ed Koch, cultivating ties with President Obama and landing a hosting gig on MSNBC.

Stuart Appelbaum, the JLC’s president, told JTA that the group decided to invite Sharpton as part of its effort to rebuild the alliance between blacks and Jews.

Continue reading " At Jewish Labor Committee Human Rights Awards Dinner, Al Sharpton calls for healing" »

Human Rights Awards Dinner June 19th 2014 in NYC

We are delighted to announce that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley as well as the Reverend Al Sharpton will address the JLC Human Rights Dinner honoring AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Teamsters Vice President George Miranda.

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Make your reservations now. Click here for an RSVP form.

Just fill in the form, print it out, and either send it back to us via fax — 212-477-1918 — as an email attachment to, or by mail to
Jewish Labor Committee – 140 West 31st Street, 3rd Floor – New York NY 10001

You may make your reservation using a credit card: space is on the RSVP form, and you can also send us an email and write where to call you and when would be good.

Continue reading "Human Rights Awards Dinner June 19th 2014 in NYC" »

JLC Regrets Conference of Presidents Rejection of J Street Membership Application

May 1st, 2014: New York, NY -- “The Jewish Labor Committee voted in favor of J Street's application for membership in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Wednesday evening, and we are disappointed that J Street was not approved for membership,” stated Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee. The JLC is a founding member of the Conference of Presidents.

“The Conference of Presidents has a diverse membership that holds a variety of views representing those in the wider Jewish community in the United States,” Appelbaum noted. “That should allow for healthy discussion within the Presidents’ Conference of the range of issues that the group addresses. The admission of J Street to that membership would have added to that discussion in significant ways. At the same time, it would have demonstrated that the Conference member agencies were not afraid of a healthy level of diversity of opinion on the key issues that the Conference addresses, and that it truly wanted to represent the sentiment of the majority of American Jews.”

Bearing in mind that a significant number of current organizations affiliated with the Conference of Presidents did not initially have their memberships accepted, and had to reapply, Appelbaum encouraged J Street to reapply. “We are hopeful that it will be admitted for membership at a future meeting, and will support it if and when it does in fact reapply.”

One year after Bangladesh factory collapse, Chicago-area activists demand safer conditions for Walmart workers

Photo by Ashlee Rezin courtesy Progress Illinois

April 24, 2014: Chicago, IL -- Eli Fishman (holding sign, left), Chicago Jewish Labor Committee Director, represented the JLC at an Our Walmart demonstration in front of the Walmart Lakeview store on the north side of the "Windy City." The rally was called to commemorate the one year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza sewing factory in Bangladesh that resulted in the death of more than 1,100 workers. Also recognized were workers from a Walmart warehouse who were recently fired for speaking out on safety issues.

For more details, read this item in "Progress Illinois"

JLC Condemns Attempts to use Ukrainian Jews as an Excuse to Destabilize Ukraine

April 18, 2014: New York, NY -- The Jewish Labor Committee today condemned the attempt to use the Ukrainian Jews as an excuse for Russia to destabilize and take over portions of Ukraine, stated JLC President Stuart Appelbaum.

On March 27, 2014, a group of prominent Ukrainian Jews -- businessmen, scientists, scholars, political figures, rabbis, artists and others -- issued an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, refuting his statements that they were being humiliated, discriminated against and in danger of a pogrom being launched against them by fascists attempting to dominate the government in Kiev. The group pointed out that while they are well aware that those who helped overthrow former Ukrainian president Viktor Yankovych included some ultra-nationalist groups who are indeed anti-Semitic, they "are well controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government - which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services." The open letter went on to state: "Your certainty of the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine does not correspond to the actual facts. It seems you have confused Ukraine with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year."

Continue reading "JLC Condemns Attempts to use Ukrainian Jews as an Excuse to Destabilize Ukraine" »

Your help needed re Perelman Jewish Day School

Dear friends:

We are reaching out to you now to make your voices heard, as we have done.

Teachers at the Perelman Jewish Day School have been members of a union local and represented by their union since 1976. Their contract ends on August 31. On March 24, following a closed door meeting, the school’s board of directors informed the school's faculty that the school would no longer recognize the union as of the end of the contract. The teachers work at campuses in Wynnewood and Elkins Park, PA.

The 59 union members were told to attend a night meeting with the board with less than 24-hours' notice to learn the details of a plan that took 10 months to develop and to pick up individual job offers and a new “Faculty Handbook.” They had to sign the individual contracts within two weeks or risk losing their job. At a meeting on Wednesday morning, union members were denied union representation, despite the board saying that the union contract was still in effect until the end of August. Under the new terms that would take effect in the fall, faculty members could be fired at any time without cause, a hearing or any recourse. Teachers would also give up seniority, tenure and other rights that are guaranteed under their current collective bargaining agreement.

The Perelman Jewish Day School, which is associated with the Conservative Movement’s Solomon Schechter school network, has three key words on its website: academics, ethics, and community. Yet, as the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee (PJLC) pointed out in its public statement, “by dismantling the union and denying employees the power of collective bargaining, the Perelman Jewish Day School is acting in opposition both to major halakhic authorities and to the official position of the Conservative Movement.” {Please see the PJLC’s statement, below and in its entirety online here }

Continue reading "Your help needed re Perelman Jewish Day School" »

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