(Washington, DC, Jan. 29, 2015)— Today, the AFL-CIO announced the third round of LIFT Fund grants, which will be awarded to a diverse group of organizations who are organizing workers outside of traditional models. Past recipients include the Los Angeles Black Worker Center which helps workers such as LeDaya Epps to find good-paying jobs through apprenticeship programs. LeDaya was recently invited to the 2015 State of the Union address by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“In Oregon, we stand up for all workers and are proud to help support innovative partnerships that help with that fight,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “We’re proud to be a labor partner in the LIFT Fund’s grant process and even more excited to help fuel worker empowerment.”
The fund was established in 2011 as a partnership between the AFL-CIO and philanthropic institutions that share the federation’s vision for a world in which workers are treated by employers with the dignity they deserve. Partners include the General Service Foundation, the New World Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Solidago Foundation, and the Discount Foundation. The LIFT Fund is the first-of-its-kind to support collaboration and innovation around new forms of worker organizing between Worker Centers and traditional labor.
This year’s grantees comprise a diverse set of workers and sectors, including domestic workers in Connecticut fighting to strengthen legal protections and day laborers in California working to learn new skills. The primary purpose of all grants is to support work at the local or state level and are focused on helping develop power among vulnerable populations of workers, including immigrants, African Americans, women, and rural workers. The money goes exclusively to the worker center, but envisions on the ground collaboration with the local labor movement to expand local power.
“We recognize that our struggle is inextricably linked to the fight for economic justice,” said Montague Simmons, Director of Organization for Black Struggle. “The LIFT grant will support our work to engage and organize those who have been at the forefront of our fight and who also tend to be the most vulnerable to the economic violence waged against our communities.”
- Organization for Black Struggle, St Louis, MO (Labor Partner: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 58)
- CLEAN Carwash, Los Angeles, CA (Labor Partner: United Steelworkers Local 675)
- Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco, CA (Labor Partner: UNITE HERE Local 2)
- Community Voices Heard, New York, NY (Labor Partner: AFSCME District Council 37)
- Lynn Worker Center for Economic Justice (Labor Partner: North Shore Labor Council)
- Make the Road/NYCC (Labor Partner: RWSDU)
- NDLON, Los Angeles, CA (Labor Partner: LA County Federation)
- NDWA/Brazilian Immigrant Center, CT (Labor Partner: United Auto Workers Region 9A)
- National Guest Workers Alliance, New Orleans, LA (Labor Partner: Ironworkers Union)
- ROC-United, National (Labor Partners: UFCW Western States Council)
- Sunflower/Kansas People’s Action, Wichita, KS (Labor Partner: Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation and CWA)
- VOZ Worker Center (Labor Partner: Oregon AFL-CIO)
- Vermont Worker Center (Labor Partner: Vermont State Labor Council)
- Warehouse Workers Resource Council (Labor Partner: UFCW Western States Council)