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Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day 2020: 10 Nonprofits Advocating and Fighting for Workers’ Rights

For many, Labor Day means just two things: a long weekend and the end of the summer. As we prepare to trade vacations and warm weather for heading back to school and work, we celebrate this holiday with a day off. So why, then, do we call it “labor” day?

A creation of the labor movement in the late 1800s, labor unions advocated for a day off to recognize the working men and women of this country. The first Monday of September was originally decided upon as it falls directly in-between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Nationally adopted as a holiday in 1894, we continue to recognize this occasion as a tribute to the contribution workers have made to the success of this country.

In the true spirit of the holiday, we've highlighted 10 nonprofits whose missions are to advocate for the rights, safety, and support of workers. Those featured below are highly rated and great options to consider if you wish to give in support of the cause.

Community Labor United Incorporated 100/100 Encompass Rated

To protect and promote the interests of working-class communities in the Greater Boston region

Community Labor United’s mission is to drive forward strategic campaigns with grassroots organizations and labor unions that stabilize and strengthen working-class families and communities of color in Greater Boston. Through a program of coalition building, research and policy development, public education, and grassroots mobilization, we advance policies that promote quality jobs, secure healthcare, affordable housing, and environmental justice for all.

Fair Labor Association 100/100 Encompass Rating

Protecting workers’ rights worldwide

The products we buy should not come at the cost of workers' rights. The Fair Labor Association believes that all goods should be produced fairly and ethically. The mission of the Fair Labor Association is to combine the efforts of business, civil society organizations, and colleges and universities to promote and protect workers’ rights and to improve working conditions globally through adherence to international standards. 

Farmworker Justice Fund Inc. ☆☆☆

Empowering farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions

Farmworker Justice is a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice. We work with farmworkers and their organizations throughout the nation. Our vision is a nation where farmworkers are organized and their organizations are equipped with the tools to: end discrimination against agricultural workers in labor laws and demand effective enforcement; promote higher wages, better working conditions, and comprehensive immigration reform; and access health and job safety information.

International Labor Rights Forum ☆☆☆

When workers rise up for change, we're there in solidarity.

International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) is a human rights organization that advances dignity and justice for workers in the global economy. We are dedicated to achieving dignity and justice for workers worldwide. We work with trade unions, faith-based organizations, and community groups to support workers and their families. We lead on initiatives such as making apparel factories safe in Bangladesh; stopping the exploitation of children in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan; increasing the income of farmworkers in the cocoa fields of West Africa; developing labor law clinics in China; and supporting threatened union leaders in Latin America's banana sector.


Jobs with Justice ☆☆☆

Improving working people’s standard of living, fighting for job security, and protecting workers’ right to organize

Jobs with Justice engages workers and allies in campaigns to win justice in workplaces and communities where working families live. Founded in 1987, the organization strives to elevate workers' rights struggles as part of a larger campaign for economic and social justice. They believe in long-term multi-issue coalition building, grassroots base-building and organizing and strategic militant action as the foundation for building a grassroots movement, and they believe that by engaging a broad community of allies, they can win bigger victories. Jobs with Justice reaches working people through the organizations that represent them - unions, congregations, community organizations - and directly as activists. Nearly 100,000 people have signed the Jobs with Justice pledge to be there at least five times a year for someone else's struggle as well as their own.

Labor Institute Inc. 90/100 Encompass Rated

Bridging Workplace Organizations And Communities Since 1976

The Labor Institute develops and conducts education and policy programs for unions, environmental organizations, community groups and immigrant workers centers on workplace health and safety, the environment, economics and movement building. The idea for creating this Institute came from Tony Mazzocchi (1926-2002), the visionary labor and environmental leader who was a longtime official with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (OCAW) union, now part of the United Steelworkers (USW).  Mazzocchi is widely credited with founding the modern health and safety movement and pioneering some of the first labor-environment alliances.

Legal Aid at Work ☆☆☆

Promoting the stability of low-income and disadvantaged workers and their families

The Legal Aid Society: Employment Law Center, opened its doors for business in 1916. Today, the Center promotes the stability of low-income and disadvantaged workers and their families by addressing issues that affect their ability to achieve self-sufficiency. Using the law as a tool, the Center helps workers attain financial security by preserving employment opportunities. They believe that stable working conditions and adequate income strengthen families and build communities. By protecting the legitimate employment status of wage earners, they provide families the means to pull through adverse times, avoid the downward spiral caused by job loss, and be fully contributing members of society.

National Employment Law Project ☆☆☆☆

Improving wages and working conditions for workers across America

For more than 45 years, the National Employment Law Project has sought to ensure that America upholds for all workers the promise of opportunity and economic security through work. The Project fights for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for low-wage workers and the unemployed. They publish research that illuminates workers' issues; promote policies that improve workers' lives; lend deep legal and policy expertise to important cases and campaigns, and partner with allies to advance crucial reforms. The Project also works from the ground up to build systemic change. They collaborate with community partners to develop advocacy campaigns, develop and test innovative policy ideas in cities and states across the country, and scale them up to effect change nationally. They partner with advocacy networks grounded in the full range of stakeholders—grassroots groups and national organizations, worker centers and unions, policymakers and think tanks.

9to5 National Association of Working Women ☆☆☆

Winning justice for working women

Founded in 1973, the 9to5 National Association of Working Women works to build a movement for economic justice, by engaging directly affected women to improve working conditions. 9to5 is one of the largest national membership organizations of working women in the U.S., dedicated to putting working women's issues on the public agenda. Over the years, the organization has helped raise the expectations of low-wage women who thought that change was out of their reach. Winning justice for working women, 9to5 fights for paid sick days, equal pay, family-supporting jobs with decent wages, and a strong safety net. They elevate the voices of women in low-wage jobs, build their leadership skills, and empower them to bring about real change in their jobs and communities.

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates ☆☆☆☆

Educate & empower

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates educates and empowers organizations, human resources professionals, employee resource groups, and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices, and benefits in the workplace inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and characteristics. They believe that people should be judged by the work they do, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity. Every day, the organization works to protect and empower employees to be productive and successful so they can support themselves, their families, and contribute to achieving a world free of discrimination for everyone.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool to find even more highly-rated charities working on the issue of workers’ rights by selectively including keywords to narrow your search

Written by Amanda Knox, Marketing & Communications Assistant at Charity Navigator

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From all of us at Charity Navigator, enjoy a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!

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