About Us

Unity Is Strength
La Union Hace La Fuerza

Workers’ Dignity is a worker-led center organizing for economic justice and dignity for all! We are developing solutions to wage theft and the systemic abuse of workers by building power through relationships with fellow low-wage workers and our allies.

Hundreds of workers have recovered more than $200,000 in unpaid wages. Affected workers participated in each step of the recovery process and reinforced others’ efforts through acts of solidarity, including visits to employers, phone calls, vigils and protests, and fundraising.

Our History

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Jan 14

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Jan 24

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Feb 14

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Feb 26

New Workers' CenterFounded in 2010, Workers’ Dignity exists because of our recognition that wage theft had become an epidemic problem among us as low-wage workers, coupled with a realization that across the country the most powerful organizations building solutions to this epidemic were grassroots community organizations and workers’ centers.

The first year and half, Nashville’s first workers’ center focused on recovering stolen wages and building membership and awareness in our community. Recruiting members and allies, the organization worked as an all-volunteer group working out of the trunks of our cars and in borrowed spaces from ally organizations. Members elected the first Steering Committee (Workers’ Dignity’s decision-making body) in January 2011. From this point on, Workers’ Dignity has been a membership-run grassroots organization fighting wage theft and offering a space in the city for workers to organize for economic justice.

Just Hospitality Campaign 

In 2014, Workers’ Dignity expanded Just Hospitality, our multi-year campaign to qualitatively improve wages and conditions among Nashville cleaning workers. In February, 11 housekeepers shook the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in the downtown tourist district, winning our first major victory of the year. Housekeepers won over $13,000 in unpaid wages and a hotel policy change that increased wages and benefits by anestimated $120,000 per year for about 30 workers.

Cleaning Workers’ Bill of Rights

In July 2015, housekeepers crafted a Cleaning Workers Bill of Rights and signed on 140 of their coworkers and other cleaners to back their demands. In 2016, they’ll begin presenting their demands to major employers in the hospitality industry.

Construction-to-Cleaning Initiative

In December, housekeepers joined unorganized striking ironworkers at the Westin Hotel project to demand living wages and safe working conditions for current construction workers and future housekeepers at the luxury hotel. Stay tuned! This was just the beginning of our Construction-to-Cleaning initiative to improve conditions in tourism and convention projects awarded millions of dollars in local tax breaks.

Leadership

Fundamental decisions of our organization are made by two bodies: the membership and the Steering Committee that meets once a month. In addition to the monthly membership meetings, there is an annual assembly of the membership that meets once a year to decide the strategic priorities for the organization and to vote for the Steering Committee. These priorities are given to the new Steering Committee to implement.

The Steering Committee must be composed of at least 2/3 low-wage workers. Our allies who are on the committee have a voice, but do not have a vote. Each member of the committee is responsible for taking on an active role in the organization.

Elections for new Steering Committees are held every six months. Members are those who are directly affected by wage theft; allies are those who are not directly affected by it but are actively involved in supporting the members to end wage theft.

The following members are Workers’ Dignity’s 2016 Steering Committee:

Mariana Lopez

Ernesto

Brenda Ayala

Elizabeth Lopez

Lissette Poyo

Mario Flores

Kelly Waller

 

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Labor day parade celebrates hard workers | WKRN News 2 on September 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    […] Following the parade was a fundraising festival for Worker’s Dignity, an organization that seeks ‘economic justice’ according to their website. […]

  2. […] community radio station is coming to Nashville, Tennessee. Workers’ Dignity/Dignidad Obrera, a worker-led workers’ center based in Nashville, is currently fundraising to support Nashville’s first ever worker-led radio […]

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