The Jewish Labor Committee is the voice of organized labor in the Jewish community and the voice of the Jewish community in organized labor, and as such advocates for working people in this region through a number of outlets.
We hold occasional events as part of our Jewish Labor Series which are designed to educate people on current important labor issues and other timely social justice causes. These events are usually either panel discussions which feature one union representative or other labor leader, one prominent voice from the Jewish community, and one elected official, or an expert from one of these arenas. We’ve attempted to shed light on subjects such as “Fear Driven Immigration Policies” and how they affect labor markets, School “Choice” Vouchers and how they impact the salaries and collective bargaining opportunities for teachers, and how the privatization of the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) would cost 5,000+ unionized workers their livelihoods. In December of 2015 we featured an insider’s conversation with State Senator Daylin Leach about the fight to get the minimum wage in PA lifted to $15 an hour. These events are educational and free or inexpensive to attend. Please check out the Upcoming Events section of this site for information on the next installment of the Jewish Labor Series.
We stand and march in support and solidarity both locally and in our state’s capital with working people who are fighting for better working conditions and higher pay, and sometimes merely to keep the benefits that they won years ago. Examples include Red Cross workers who were overworked, Verizon employees whose jobs and benefits were at stake, public school teachers, fast food workers, and others.
We coordinate written advocacy for workers as in the cases of the formerly unionized teachers at Perelman Jewish Day School, employees at Barneys New York, and Teva Pharmaceuticals. This is usually hand in hand with other forms of advocacy such as peaceful demonstrations and meetings with decision makers.
PJLC’s trademark annual event is the Labor Seder, a traditional Passover Seder held at a local synagogue which gives the Jewish and Labor communities an opportunity to examine the clear connection between the slavery of Jews in Egypt and the rights of working people today. The Labor Seder is usually a themed event in which one current social justice issue is addressed. In recent years the Black Lives Matter and Fast Food Worker’s campaigns were highlighted.