Grantees that Promote the Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
Here you can learn just a bit about some of the 2015-16 CCHD Grantees whose work builds opportunities for dignified work in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Latino Union of Chicago
Latino Union (Union Latina) collaborates with low-income immigrant workers to develop the tools they need to collectively improve social and economic conditions. Latino Union's initiative, the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers, is challenging the root causes of poverty among domestic workers by advocation for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Domestic workers -- nannies, caregivers, and house cleaners -- are excluded from most labor laws. The majority live in poverty, and one-quarter of domestic workers earn less than minimum wage. The proposed law, which just passed the Illinois House, would give domestic workers a minimum wage, one day of rest per week, and protection from sexual harassment. Coalition members also offer outreach and referrals, casework, workforce development trainings and job placement, building solidarity and helping 300 domestic workers per year improve their standard of living.
Telpochalli Community Education Project
This cooperative project aims to tackle local economic and gender-based disparities by spurring alternative job creation and empowering women. So far, TCEP has supported a group of 10+ women who are actively working together to develop their business idea, decision-making procedures and fundraising plan. These same women have also successfully completed a 6-month life-skills training program to prepare them for the cooperative-building phase of their project.
St. Eulalia Parish's project Mujeres Unidas empowers low-income women through participatory learning and leadership development to help them create economic opportunities by creating self-sufficient, women owned co-operatives in the food service industry. With CCHD funding Mujeres Unidas was able to purchase necessary kitchenware and cutlery to help women begin their classes in table setting, basic cooking classes, and food service. Twenty-two women received state certification after completion of a 16-hour course and passing of a test.
Loom empowers communities and families by providing refugee women an opportunity to develop and utilize their skills, create and express themselves, and support themselves economically. This year, the artisans developed new product lines, attended and facilitated workshops, rose to positions of leadership, engaged in numerous sales events, and expanded marketing through social media.
IIRON (National grantee)
This grantee works tirelessly for economic development, which often involves creating better job opportunities. IIRON has participated strongly in the Fight for 15 campaign, seeking an increase in minimum wage so that workers can provide for their families. They are also fighting the recent budget cuts that eliminate both services and jobs in our communities.
Join Organizing Catholics for Justice and work for Wage and Economic Justice
One of the key elements of Fair Trade is protecting the workers who produce Fair Trade goods. Fair practices ensure that workers receive sufficient wages, in a safe, dignified working environment.
Catholic Relief Services
In addition to CRS Fair Trade, many of Catholic Relief Services' programs throughout the world help communities build up the dignity of work.
The Youth Builders project in El Salvador works with many at-risk youth in the capital city of San Salvador. In El Salvador, it is often considered "a crime to be young" because many people assume that young people are the primary source of crime, violence, and gang activity in the country. Youth Builders provides mentorship to help young people complete their education and various types of vocational training so that they can move into the workforce ready to find and maintain good employment. Staying in school and holding good jobs, in addition to peace circles and other peace building programs, help these youth avoid involvement in gang activity and crime.
Graduates from the Youth Builders project have become skilled laborers (electricians, mechanics, carpenters, etc.), started their own small businesses, and even gone on to the university. Many employers have begun seeking Youth Builders graduates to hire because of their reputation as talented, committed, well-prepared employees.