Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Workers Memorial Day April 25, 2013

Every year in late April, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our efforts for safe workplaces. This year the struggle continues to create good jobs in this country that are safe and healthy and to ensure the freedom of workers to form unions and, through their unions, to speak out and bargain for respect and a better future. It’s time for our country to fulfill the promise of safe jobs for all.
Please join the Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation as we commemorate Workers Memorial Day with our annual dinner on Thursday April 25th, 6pm at the Machinist Hall – 3830 S. Meridian, Wichita. We will have a free catered dinner from Stroud’s Fried Chicken as we remember those Kansas Workers who lost their lives on the job and renew our commitment to fight for good, SAFE, jobs.
Download a high quality pdf version of the flyer to print here.

May 4 Rally at State Capitol in Topeka – Stand Up, Fight Back!

WHAT: Working Kansas Alliance rally
WHERE: State Capitol South Steps, 300 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66612
WHEN: Saturday May 4, 3:30 p.m.
From AFT Kansas President Lisa Ochs:
The Kansas legislature will reconvene Wednesday, May 8 for the veto session. While this has been a brutal session for worker attacks, the veto session does not signal the end of attacks but rather the beginning of more to come.
To that end, the Working Kansas Alliance is sponsoring a rally Saturday, May 4 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the State Capitol South Steps, prior to the legislature’s return for the veto session. Because these attacks impact real people in all our communities, we’d like to have all of labor, community, and faith-based groups and their families to gather for this event.
This is our continuing effort to send a message to our Kansas legislature that labor and community are willing to stand up and fight back – now and as long as we must – to defend and preserve a fair and compassionate way of life.
To that end, we’re seeking volunteers for coordinating the rally because together, we really can do more!
May 4 Rally Flyer

Public Forum on the Brownback Tax Scam

Sam Brownback’s income tax cut plan will bankrupt the state while the tax burden will shift to property and sales taxes, hitting hardest those Kansans who can least afford it.  You are invited to attend a presentation by State Senator Tom Holland to learn how Brownback’s reckless tax policies will hurt Kansans. The event is 6-8 p.m….

NFB and Fair Wages

The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today applauded the introduction of the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (H.R. 831) by Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS).  Congressman Harper, along with eleven original co-sponsors, introduced the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013…

WHLF Endorsements

The Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation is pleased to offer our endorsements for Tuesday’s local election. The Executive Board and Delegates of our member unions feel the following candidates will best represent the interests of working families in Wichita. USD 259 Board of Education: District 2 – Scott Poor (Endorsed by United Teachers of Wichita) Wichita…

HB 2069: Brownback and Crossland’s Attempt to Suppress Wages in Kansas

The Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation is a proud member of the Working Kansas Alliance. Read the original article here. Crossland Construction Company, a major contributor to Governor Brownback and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, is currently pushing legislation in the Kansas Legislature to limit the wages of Kansas workers on construction projects funded with taxpayer dollars. The…

Labor Supports Marriage Equality

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka on Marriage Equality May 9, 2012 Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality. LGBT working people face numerous inequities in the workplace and in society as they struggle…

Expansion of Sunflower’s Worker Justice Center

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prayers for Kim Bobo and Family

My dear husband, Stephen Coats, the long-time director of USLEAP, died in his sleep on Tuesday.  He has had no medical problems, so my sons and I are in a bit of shock right now.   

Here’s the information about the visitation and services.

Friday, April 5, 2013
Visitation 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
                Drake & Son Funeral Home
                5303 N Western Avenue
                Chicago, IL    60625
Saturday, April 6, 2013 
Visitation   10 a.m. to 11 a.m.    
Funeral Service   11 a.m. to noon (or so)
Fellowship Time after service
                North Shore Baptist Church
                5244 N Lakewood Avenue
                Chicago, IL   60640

The family asks that if you want to do something in Stephen’s memory (in lieu of flowers), please consider making a contribution to one of the following ministries/organizations that were so important to him:

P.O. Box 268-290
Chicago, IL   60626
The mission of USLEAP was Stephen’s life’s work.

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
4750 N. Sheridan Road, #429
Chicago, IL   60640
Stephen had tremendous respect for this organization’s work in support of workers rights in Central America.

North Shore Baptist Church (put “for the Karen Missions” in the memo line)
5244 N. Lakewood Avenue
Chicago, IL   60640

Stephen was an active member of the church and involved in supporting the ministry with Karen refugees.  Stephen grew up in Thailand on the Burmese border where his parents ministered with Karen people.  

If you wish to send a card, you can send it to:

The Bobo/Coats Family
1723 W Chase Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Stephen was a wonderful man. I ask you to keep Stephen’s memory alive by supporting workers across the globe who seek to improve working conditions. 

May God bless you and our work together.

In Solidarity,

Kim Bobo

Friday, March 15, 2013

Communications Workers Rally, March 23

The Communication Workers of America and the German Union Ver.di have formed a partnership to give T-Mobile workers a voice on the job and to protect those jobs from being outsourced overseas.

T-Mobile closed 7 call centers including one located in Lenexa, KS, and outsourced nearly 3,300 jobs overseas in June 2012. Now T-Mobile is trying to merge with Metro PCS who outsources almost all of their customer service jobs. T-Mobile has said that if the merger goes through, jobs will go overseas.

Please join CWA workers and three German Ver.di guests for a rally on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 1-3 pm to highlight the need for fairness for workers, and to make sure that there are no jobs lost here in Wichita as a result of this merger.

Support members of our community and their families. Support fairness for workers. Come to the rally at
T-Mobile Call Center
2525 North Woodlawn
March 23, 2013
1-3 pm

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Labor's Food Pantry-Union Members Care

Our thanks to Mario Cervantes, the AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison Coordinator for the following article. As he explains, Labor's Food Pantry is open to all. If you or your faith community would like to contribute to the pantry, please contact Mario directly at the number below. Thank you, David Hansen

With the economy showing signs of a glimmer of a recovery we must still remember that we have many individuals and families that are struggling to make ends meet. Most of these families struggle towards the end of each month, after paying rent, utilities, just to put food on their table. And for those families that are unemployed their neighborhood food pantry is a vital resource.
That’s where Labor’s Food Pantry comes in by providing a food box to help supplement their family’s food budget, which helps them make it to the next payday or unemployment check. Labor’s Food Pantry touches the lives of 8 to 12 families each month and the help they receive is more than just nourishment for their body, it’s the sense that someone cares and is willing to help! And that someone is the union member! Ready and willing to help anyone in need!
Labor’s Pantry touches the lives of anyone that is in need of food, not just union members, but anyone that struggles to provide food for their family, anyone that might be hungry, should we allow any person or child to go hungry? A resolving NO! In community service we recognize this important principle, that the Union member is first and foremost a member of the community, and as a member of a community the union member cares about the entire community and everyone in that community!
 When I hear or read comments that unions are the problem, it makes me mad first and sad second because those that make those comments, just don’t know the real story or don’t want to know! Union members provide millions of dollars annually to United Way and other charities in the community.
And through these dollars provide the resources needed to fund programs and services utilized by anyone in need in the community, the hot meal delivered to a homebound senior or the hospice care that a family receives for their love one at the end of their life or maybe services for a disabled child or help for a woman that might be fleeing domestic violence. All of these services and many more provided by the support of union members working together with other community members to improve the life’s of everyone. The support union members give is not only financial but hundreds of hours of volunteer time, helping at local nonprofits, churches, mentoring at schools, scouting or just helping a neighbor, community service in the true sense of the word. Community Services, it might be a well kept secret but we really weren’t trying to keep it a secret, we see a need, we act on it, and we Git-ur-Done!
If you would like to help support the Labor Pantry please consider bringing a nonperishable food item to each union meeting and I’d be glad to pick-up. Pantry wish list: cereal, macaroni and cheese or any boxed meal.
 If your community service committee is looking for a group project or you would like more information on Labor’s Pantry please contact me at 267-1321 ext 4209
 Thank you sisters and brothers for all you do to support the partnership and our community.
Flyer placed in each food box

Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation of Central Ks, AFL-CIO

Labor’s Food Pantry - Emergency Assistance

Food Items Donated and/or Purchased by area “Union Members”
UNION YES         X

Members of Organized Labor!  Helping the whole community!

Labor Cares - Labor Shares

In Solidarity,
Mario Cervantes
AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison
United Way of the Plains

Monday, March 11, 2013

Faith and Labor Forum Report/Larry Smith's Talk

The IWJ Kansas Faith and Labor Forum sponsored by Pine Valley Christian Church was held on March 8th. The band, Shoulder to Shoulder, brought us great energy and inspiring music. Martin Eddy, representing the International Aerospace and Machinists Union, Tammy Chaffee of the Communications Workers of America, Stuart Elliot of the United Postal Workers Union, Bryan Pfiefer of the American Federation of Teachers, and Larry Smith of the United Teachers of Wichita represented the voice of labor. Representative Carolyn Bridges brought us a message from the Kansas House of Representatives. Reverend David Hansen moderated the event and shared a faith perspective. Our thanks to all who attended and shared in this event and to the members of Pine Valley Christian Church for your hospitality. Our thanks to Larry Smith for allowing us to publish the text of remarks, which are printed here.

Faith Communities and Labor: Natural Allies

The faith community has always been the natural ally of the working class and the labor movement. During the 1800s, it was the faith community that worked for legislation to help the poor, and supported efforts to create an 8-hour work day and child labor restrictions. In the1930s, faith communities partnered with government to help the working class that were hardest hit by the Great Depression. In the 1960s and 70s, it was the faith community that walked with workers in Memphis, Detroit, Philadelphia, and other cities across the nation.

Today we are facing an attack on the working class and on organized labor that has not been seen since the days of the Gilded Age. Unions are blamed for the mismanagement of bloated corporations. Workers are blamed for being lazy, are dismissed because they are not "job creators." And public school teachers are called "thugs" and "terrorists" by politicians and media outlets firmly in the pocket of Big Business. And so I am here on behalf of the workers, on behalf of the labor movement, to ask for your assistance once again.

The state elections of 2010 and 2012 have brought a new type of politician to Topeka. This politicians has decided that large corporations are people, but that unions are gangs of bullies and thugs. This politician has decided that large corporations should be able to funnel endless amounts of money into political campaigns, but that unions should not be able to collect any dues from members if those funds involve political activity. This politician has decided that business should not have to pay any income tax, but the poor and working class should pay more in sales tax and have their mortgage exemptions taken away.

There are many bills in the state legislature that can only be termed anti-teacher, anti-labor, anti-worker, anti-poor. Too many to count, in fact. But here are a few that you may have heard of:

HB 2023: The "Payroll Exemption Act," which seeks to take away the right of public unions to have their union dues deducted from their paycheck. But the real purpose is to deny unions their funding so that they cannot speak out on behalf of teachers or students.

HB 2027: Was the old HB 2085, now has become a gut-and-go bill to remove 25 of the 30 work items now negotiated between teacher unions and the local school boards. It would also let any person or group bargain with the school board, and all unions would have to have a re-certification election every two years. In other words, this bill would practically destroy teacher unions, and let school boards issue unilateral contracts.

HB 2069: This bill would prohibit local prevailing wage provisions for all state construction projects; it is probably unconstitutional, but will require an expensive lawsuit to bring it to the Kansas or U.S. Supreme Court.

SB 73: This bill would make major changes to the worker compensation rules in favor of business, and very much against the worker. The worst change is that appeals would no longer go to district court, but to the Workers Comp Board, which would have already ruled on the issue.

There are many other bills in the same vein. Many of these bills affect an enormous number of working Kansans, including many of you.The net effect of this type of legislation is to take away our freedoms and our hard-earned money. But even more importantly, many of these bills would destroy our public education system, and create a society of have's and have-nots.

I'm a history teacher at East High School. We're currently teaching my favorite part of American History: the civil rights movement. I tell my students that the history of the civil rights movement, and the impact it had on our country, is more important than World War 2, more important than the Cold War, more important than Vietnam and Watergate. I tell them that because the civil rights movement goes to the very heart of what this country is all about: the fulfillment of that outrageous idea that "all men are created equal." Public education is an essential part of that idea, for without an adequate education, the poor and the marginalized have no way to achieve the American Dream. Without an adequate education, the poor and the marginalized are taken advantage of. Without an adequate education, the poor and the marginalized are doomed to generational suffering.

It has been encouraging to see a lot of my fellow teachers waking up to all that is going on around them, and to begin to speak up. You know, teachers aren't any different from anyone else: we have families to raise, bills to pay, houses and yards to take care of. There never seems to be enough time to do all we want, and when we get done taking care of those never-ending tasks and chores of our work and our homes, we just want to be able to sit down and spend a little time with our families and friends. But I've seen so many teachers that are giving up that time to get involved in fighting for what they believe in: a decent education for our students, and decent pay and working conditions for teachers.

But we need your help. We need Kansans all over this state to stand with us and fight these politicians and their legislation. We need Kansans like you to write letters, make phone calls, send e-mails, to your legislators and tell them you want them to stop these attacks. Tell them to vote NO on these bills that seek to harm teachers, workers and students. Tell them to start working to represent everyday Kansans.

I was born in 1959, just as the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. I've been proud to be from Kansas, the home of Linda Brown and the Brown v. BOE decision. I've been proud to be from Wichita, the home of the first student-led lunch counter sit-in.

But I've also been sad that I was too young to participate in the civil rights movement in those days. As I studied those events,and later taught them, I told myself that, if I had been older, I would have been there. I would have marched and protested in Birmingham. I would have gone to Mississippi to register voters. I would have gone to Washington to hear Dr. King tell us about his dream. And I would not be surprised to find many of you have had similar feelings.

Well, now we have that opportunity. Public education is the civil rights movement of our time, and it effects all of us. People of color, people of all faiths, people of all political beliefs. Now is the time to stand up. Now is the time to speak up. Now is our time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Events for You

IWJKansas Salutes IAM Local 639

Reverend Charles R. Claycomb, pastor of University United Methodist Church, Wichita, and an IWJ Kansas board member recently attended a meeting of IAM Local 639 where he presented the union a check of $250 and an IWJ certificate to honor the union for standing up for workers rights.

Pine Valley Christian Church and IWJ Kansas

Invite you to attend a Faith and Labor Forum on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 7:00. Music will be provided by Shoulder to Shoulder. Speakers include Bryan Pfiefer and Rennie Holland, AFT, and Rev. David Hansen, IWJ Kansas. We will also learn about developments for the Sunflower Worker Center. This is a time to network and learn more about what is happening locally and in Kansas.

Communication Workers/Ver.di T-Mobile Rally

We are happy to share the following news from CWA. For more information please contact the Communications Workers of America office in Wichita.

We will have a German Delegation here from Dortmund call center/Ver.di union to highlight the differences between how they are treated in Germany and how the T-Mobile workers are treated here in the United States. They will also be highlighting their mission to make sure that jobs are not lost during the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger. 
Please join us for this rally and bring any and all interested parties with you so we can highlight the differences in treatment between the workers in Germany and the United States. Lets make this a big rally.
WhenSat Mar 23, 2013 1pm – 3pm Central Time
Where2525 N Woodlawn, Wichita, KS

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Public Forum: Faith and Labor

If you are concerned about the future of labor and of our communities and you want to know what you can do to help create a positive environment for all workers and their families, please join us.

Friday, March 8, 2013
7:00 pm

Pine Valley Christian Church
5621 E. 21st Street

Music provided by Shoulder to Shoulder


Mr. Bryan G. Pfiefer, Organizing Coordinator, American Federation of Teachers

Ms. Rennie Hudson, Organizer, American Federation of Teachers

Rev. Dr. David Hansen
Interfaith Worker Justice Kansas
Interim Pastor, Pine Valley Christian Church

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stand with Working Kansas Alliance Saturday

This coming Saturday at 2pm workers from all across Kansas will be gathering in Topeka on the steps of the State Capitol to rally for workers rights! Join us in standing up for your rights, and telling Governor Brownback and the Kansas Legislature that it’s time to end these senseless attacks on the hard working men and women of Kansas.

Help us spread the word about Saturday by taking a moment to share this post on your social networks.

You can also RSVP to our event on Facebook by clicking here (http://www.facebook.com/events/569806503032239/) , and be sure to invite your friends, family, and coworkers to join us as well!

See you Saturday.
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Copyright © 2013 Working Kansas Alliance / Kansas Coalition for Workplace Safety, All rights reserved.

Friday, February 1, 2013

HB 2123 Attacks Unions

Kansas lawmakers have launched a frontal attack on unions. The Feb. 1, 2013, Wichita Eagle blog noted that, "Legislation, which the House approved Thursday, is entirely about trying to weaken unions--which is why it is being pushed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity." The goal, made clear in HB 2123, is to get rid of public sector unions. But don't take my word for it. The text of this bill is printed here. I am opposed to this bill and similar anti-union legislation.

There is no question that unions have improved working conditions and increased wages and brought better benefits for all workers--union and nonunion. Union members want good jobs, safe working conditions and good pay. These are things that make for healthier families and better communities. In future articles I will reflect on why  I believe worker rights should be of concern to members of faith communities and why now is the time to support working men and women in our community.
                                                                                    Reverend David Hansen, IWJ Kansas                                                                

Session of 2013
By Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development
AN ACT concerning public employees; enacting the public employees
freedom act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. Sections 1 through 11 shall be known and may be cited as
the public employee freedom act.
Sec. 2. It is declared to be the policy of this state that:
(a) An employer and employee should be free to contract on their
own terms;
(b) mandatory collective bargaining laws violate this freedom; and
(c) as a result, it is hereby declared to be against the public policy of
this state to impose mandatory collective bargaining laws on public
employees and the organizations that represent such public employees in
the collective bargaining process.
Sec. 3. As used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, the
following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in
this section:
(a) "Employee organization" means any association or organization
of employees, and any agency, employee representation committee or plan
in which employees participate that exists, in whole or in part, to advocate
on behalf of employees about grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of
pay, hours of employment or conditions of work.
(b) (1) "Public employee" means a person holding a position by
appointment or employment in the government of this state, or any taxing
or political subdivision thereof, including, but not limited to, public
schools, any authority, commission or board, or in any other branch of
public service.
(2) The term "public employee" shall not include any employee
whose job involves managerial, supervisory, or confidential
(c) "Public employer" means any state or local government,
government agency, government instrumentality, special district, joint
powers authority, school board or special purpose organization that
employs one or more persons in any capacity.
Sec. 4. (a) Public employees shall have the right to represent
themselves in their relations with their public employer.

HB 2123 2
(b) No provision of any agreement between an employee organization
and a public employer, or any other public policy, shall impose
representation by an employee organization on any public employee who
is not a member of such employee organization.
Sec. 5. No dues, fees, assessments or any other automatic payroll
deductions by public employers from public employee payroll
compensation shall be allowed for transmission to any public employee
organization, any intermediary or private individual, other than for primary
and supplemental pension plans, life, health and other employee benefits,
or contributions made to 501C(3) charitable organizations through a
workplace giving program.
Sec. 6. Any agreement, understanding, or practice, written or oral,
implied or expressed, between any employee organization and public
employer that violates the rights of employees as guaranteed by provisions
of this act, and amendments thereto, is hereby declared to be unlawful, null
and void, and shall have no legal effect. Any strike, picketing, boycott, or
other action by an employee organization for the purpose of inducing or
attempting to induce an employer to enter into any agreement prohibited
by this section is hereby declared to be for an illegal purpose and is a
violation of the provisions of this act.
Sec. 7. It shall be unlawful for any person, employee organization, or
officer, agent, or member thereof, to compel or attempt to compel such
employee or prospective employee to join, affiliate with, or financially
support an employee organization by any:
(a) Intimidation, threatened or actual, of an employee or prospective
employee, or an employee's or prospective employee's parents, spouse,
children, grandchildren, or any other persons residing in the employee's or
prospective employee's home; or
(b) damage or threatened damage to an employee's or prospective
employee's property.
Sec. 8. Any person who directly or indirectly violates any provision
of this act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of the attorney general to investigate
complaints of violation or threatened violations of this act and to prosecute
any or all persons violating any of its provisions, and to take all means
available to the attorney general to ensure effective enforcement of this
Sec. 10. The provisions of this act shall apply to all contracts or
extensions thereof entered into on or after the effective date of this act.
Sec. 11. If any provision of this act, including any amendment made
by this act, or the application of any such provision to any person or
circumstance, is held invalid, the validity of any other provision of this act,
or the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances,

HB 2123 3
shall not be affected thereby.
Sec. 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Annual Meeting of IWJ-Kansas at Newman University

After months of careful planning and organizing, Interfaith Worker Justice of Kansas, a new chapter of the national Interfaith Worker Justice organization, held its first annual meeting on January 12, 2013 at Newman University. The 25 attendees at the meeting included leaders from labor groups, churches, immigrant-rights organizations, and educational institutions in Kansas and Oklahoma, all of whom embraced the IWJ core mission to “mobilize people of faith and work advocates in support of economic justice and worker rights and the local, state, and national levels.”

Reverend Michael Livingston 
The meeting was held under the direction of Rev. David Hansen, Ph.D. the Director of IWJ Wichita, who addressed participants at the beginning of the meeting and introduced the keynote speaker, Rev. Michael Livingston, a national leader in the Interfaith Worker Justice Policy Department. In his address, Reverend Livingston highlighted the challenges that labor advocates face by turning a spotlight on New Labor, an IWJ affiliate organization that is creating worker’s centers in New York and New Jersey.

The New Labor Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Livingston reported, “is 2000 warehouse workers, mostly Latino and Haitian, who work for Wal-Mart but don’t work for Wal-Mart. . . . They are hired by temporary agencies as contract workers, but all they do is load and deliver and unload goods for Wal-Mart. Low pay, no health care benefits, unsafe working conditions, irregular hours, no paid sick days, no vacation time, no overtime, wages stolen, and don’t even think about trying to organize.”

Rev. Tim Lytle with Sister Mary Ellen Loch, CSJ    
The New Labor Center, he concluded, “is a lifeline for these workers, they are pulling themselves in from deep waters. Finding their voices, and standing up for themselves.” Reverend Livingston continued to lay out the IWJ legislative agenda, which includes comprehensive immigration reform, minimum-wage increases, and wage-theft regulation. On the local and the national level, IWJ chapters can help to move this agenda forward by bringing members of faith communities together with other community resources to support the rights and the dignity of labor.

Rev. Lytle with Sister JoAnn Mark, ASC          
Following Reverend Livingston’s address, IWJK board member, Rev. Tim Lytle of Unity Church, Wichita, presented  awards honoring the International Aerospace and Machinists Workers, Local 639 for their support of worker’s rights and to two orders of Catholic Sisters—The Adorers of the Blood of Christ and the Sisters of Saint Joseph—for their work with immigrant workers in the Wichita Community.

Meeting participants also heard an address from Ms. Sulma Arias, the Executive Director of Sunflower Community Action. Arias explained the connection between her own church-building experience and her current work for worker and immigrant justice, and she outlined the Sunflower Center’s vision for a Worker’s Center to assist immigrant workers in the Wichita area.

Ms. Sulma Arias, Executive Director of Sunflower  
Community Action, Wichita
“It’s a huge task,” Arias acknowledged, “If we are going to build it and make it a place where we can have conversations about how we are going to create strategies that will win rights for workers, we will have to look at the challenges from the eyes of immigrants through the eyes of labor, activists—it’s going to take all of us, because each one of us brings to the work an experience that is needed to make it happen.”

The meeting ended with the words of two local ministers, Lytle, who looked at the road ahead for IWJ-Kansas, and Rev. Charles Claycomb, University Methodist Church, who offered the Benediction. 

After the meeting, Rev. Hansen articulated his satisfaction with the results. “Our first annual gathering prepared the way for our next celebration on April 4 when we will bring members of the faith community and labor together to honor the life and ministry of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who, as we remember, was killed in Memphis as he stood in solidarity with the sanitation workers who were fighting for worker justice. This celebration will be held at University United Methodist Church at 7:00 PM. It is time to build a new coalition for hope and justice. It will take all of us, but we can do it.”

Participants in the first annual meeting of Interstate Workers Justice of Kansas

HB 2023 Needs You Now

Governor Sam Brownback and his conservative GOP legislators are stepping up their attacks on Kansas teachers - using teachers' paychecks for partisan political gain.

This week, the legislature will be voting on a measure, HB 2023, that will stop public employees, including all public teachers, from having control over their own paychecks. Instead, Brownback and his GOP allies want to dictate how public employees spend their own wages by stopping employees from directing funds to professional organizations.

We have seen this before in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The Kansas GOP's goal is to silence teachers so they can more easily undercut school funding and teachers' wages.
But don't take our word for it - listen to what supporters of this government interference have to say. Eric Stafford, senior director of government affairs for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, told the committee, “I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions.”

And Republican Rep. Peggy Mast even went so far as to call unionized teachers "bullies". It's not enough that the GOP has cut education funding for Kansas kids - they're now personally going after public educators.

It's clear - Kansas teachers and all public employees are under attack and we must act now! Contact your state representative and tell them you support workers' rights!

You can find your elected officials by entering your home address here. Call and e-mail the people elected to represent Kansans and tell them to keep the state out of Kansans' paychecks.
Thank you!