Back to Headlines Frontpage
The January 10 meeting of North Texas Jobs with Justice will be critical to the future of the progressive movement in North Texas. It will be our first effort to re-organize as an all-volunteer group.
National Jobs with Justice was created in 1987 by five of the large industrial unions. It's mission, then and now, was to bring together different unions with their natural allies in churches, communities, civil rights organizations, and student groups. As a coalition, it focuses on the workplace problems that were, then and now, steadily worsening under assault from big corporations and their allies in government. Even in 1987, progressive leaders realized that no one union or organization could overcome these growing problems.
From its national headquarters in Washington DC, Jobs with Justice sends out field organizers to dozens of chapters in major cities. They lead national campaigns, but they also leave a great deal of lattitude for local chapters to help working people as problems arise.
During 1989, Greyhound bus drivers were on strike across the nation. Corporate headquarters was in Dallas, and weekly rallies took place at the bus station downtown. Dozens of local unions and other progressivegroups joined in. It seemed like a good start for a Jobs with Justice chapter, and it was. In January of 1990, 30-35 activists met at the headquarters of United Aerospace Workers 848 in Grand Prairie. They committed to a volunteer North Texas chapter with its first task to organize a mixed contingent in the Dallas Martin Luther King parade.
As we carried out action after action, we realized our value and our limitations. Without us, many important solidarity actions would never have occurred. Without us, most organizations would have gone on facing problems alone. On the other hand, there were very few conscientious volunteers in North Texas. Two or three from any given organization was the norm. Very seldom did we get more than a few from each organization, but the accumulated group of 20-30 people could put on a decent picket line or other action. For the next 12 years, we were indispensable, but never very large.
In 2002, National Jobs with Justice decided that we were ready for a full-time organizer and office. Working primarily with the Communications Workers of America and foundation money, they hired a full-time staffer. CWA provided an office, and Jobs with Justice took on a new existence. We continued monthly meetings and dues-paying participation grew. This lasted until December, 2005, when the money ran out. At the December 13 meeting in the CWA office, we decided to take two decisive steps toward re-building JwJ in North Texas. The first was to hold another second-Tuesday meeting; the second was to commit to a big contingent in the Dallas Martin Luther King march and parade.
Please decide to participate in the meeting at 2218 E. Main Street in Grand Prairie at 6:30 PM on January 10. We will re-build our chapter and come together at 9 AM on January 14 in front of Dallas City Hall to continue our commitment to a progressive coalition for workers' rights in North Texas.
Back to Headlines Frontpage