(Pennsylvania, Jan. 20, 2022) Staff members of Justice at Work Pennsylvania announced today that they are unionizing with The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. Justice at Work Pennsylvania is a legal aid nonprofit that supports low-wage workers in pursuit of economic and social justice.
The Justice at Work Staff Union (JAWSU) will include paralegals, administrative staff, and attorneys, all of whom are integral to the services the organization has provided to its client communities over more than 40 years. JAWSU issued the following statement:
“We, Justice at Work Pennsylvania staff members, have chosen to work at this organization because of our personal commitments to social justice, racial equity, and worker power. We see workplace democracy for our clients and workplace democracy for ourselves as deeply intertwined, and we are unionizing to ensure that our internal policies, procedures, and personnel practices reflect that connection.”
Members of JAWSU said the following:
"My experiences navigating the immigration system from a young age inspired my commitment to social justice, and I chose to work at Justice at Work to continue to advocate for my community,” said Cinthia Ibarra, Employment Paralegal. “Low-wage, immigrant workers are not just clients to me; they are my family and friends, and I personally know the value of legal advocacy and community outreach. Unionizing at Justice at Work will ensure that we continue to advocate for workers’ rights, both within and outside the organization.”
“As a workers’ rights attorney at Justice at Work, I view my primary role as empowering workers by providing tools like knowledge of their rights, legal advice, and access to justice systems,” said Lerae Kroon, Lead Advocacy Attorney. “Empowering myself and my colleagues by joining together in collective action to create a more equitable workplace is a natural extension of that role.”
“I chose to work at Justice at Work because I was inspired by the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights,” said Evy Tolentino, Immigration Paralegal. “Racial inequality is embedded within U.S. social and economic structures, manifesting in different ways for the immigrant community. As an organization dedicated to helping workers achieve lasting change in their communities, I believe racial diversity, equity and inclusion starts with us. Unionizing is a step in that direction for the staff of Justice at Work.”
JAWSU is seeking voluntary recognition by Justice at Work Pennsylvania. JAWSU members are available for comment at email@example.com. More information can be found at jawstaffunion.org.
About The NewsGuild-CWA:
The NewsGuild’s members include journalists, interpreters and translators, workers at organizations dedicated to fighting for social justice, and the staff of nonprofit organizations. The NewsGuild is a sector of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents workers in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, health care, public service and education, manufacturing and other fields.