Organizing a Union of Welfare-to-Work Program Participants

The current state and federal welfare-to-work programs discourage participants from collective organizing and bargaining. Instead, the programs are constructed independent of one another without a common line of communication. Part of the campaign for CJP reform is to organize a union of welfare-to-work program participants. From localized unions, a national network of welfare-to-work program participants would be formed. The San Francisco Living Wage Coalition argues that welfare-to-work participants should not be denied the power of collective bargaining, as it is a fundamental workers’ right. SF Living Wage will be participating in a national conference on structural unemployment in New Orleans, sponsored by the United Worker Congress. Through meeting with other coalitions and activist groups from across the nation, the Living Wage Coalition hopes to move their vision of a union of welfare-to-work program participants forward. By working together with other social justice campaigns focusing on issues of race, class, and various forms of discrimination, San Francisco Living Wage Coalition plans to organize a comprehensive and inclusive initiative of collective bargaining for the future.

Written by Sally Baker