VOZ Workers’ Rights Education Project (Voz) is a worker-led organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions and protect civil rights through leadership development, organizing, education and economic opportunity. We provide disenfranchised day laborers with leadership development opportunities as well as classes aimed at providing them with the skills they need to secure long-term employment. Voz uses Popular Education methodology in our leadership development and grassroots organizing, and we have a strong history of community engagement as a worker-led organization.
We operate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Worker Center, which connects hundreds of workers each month with local employers. The Center is critical to the day labor movement in Oregon and nationally. It offers a safe space for workers to build community, participate in trainings that increase employability, and organize themselves towards ending exploitation, discrimination and wage theft. Since 2000, Voz has been able to reclaim over $530,000 in stolen wages, created 25,127 jobs, and set a $12 minimum wage for worker at the center.
The important role that Voz plays in helping workers reclaim stolen wages demonstrates how wage theft has become a massive problem for Oregon workers and the state’s economy. We are proud to be members of the Fair Shot for All Coalition and the Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft to put an end to workers being shortchanged.