|Who are we?
What do we do and why do we do it?
|Who is SFIWJ?
South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice (SFIWJ) is an association of many diverse
religious leaders throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties who respond to
the crisis of the working poor. Established in 1998, SFIWJ is one of over 60
affiliates of the national Interfaith Worker Justice network based in Chicago.
SFIWJ's volunteer Board of Directors is comprised of faith leaders from various
religious and ethnic traditions.
What do we do?
SFIWJ provides a voice to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious
community to serve low-wage workers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
We dialogue with communities about religion’s historical roots and current
policies for workers’ rights -- including the struggle for better wages, health
benefits, working conditions, and the right to have a voice at work. We
advocate for the rights of low-wage workers, the majority of whom are
immigrants. Through our organizing efforts, workers’ struggles are transformed
from just “bottom-line economics” into moral imperatives facing decision-
makers. We also provide a spiritual uplift and moral foundation to workers in
Our successes include organizing and leading a delegation of 15 faith leaders to
the Continental Group’s Headquarters, to urge them to allow their workers to
unionize free of intimidation and threats of firings. SFIWJ has also partnered
with University of Miami (UM) workers, faculty, students, and local community
leaders, resulting in 410 immigrant janitors gaining the choice to organize, to
earn a living wage, health benefits, and a permanent voice on the job. Our
actions on behalf of these workers received coverage in The New York Times,
The National Catholic Reporter, and The Miami Herald.
|Clergy pray for a change of heart for the
management of Continental Property
|The Rev. John Cox, OMI,
the University of Miami.
|According to the South Florida Business Journal, Miami is the least affordable
city within which to live in the U.S. with 28.3% of its residents living in poverty
- defined as earning less than $9,570 per individual or $19,500 for a family of
four. This metropolitan city has the third-highest poverty rate in the nation.
The lack of health benefits among many low-wage workers not only results in
poor quality of life, but an overburdened tax base for those who must seek
emergency care. SFIWJ uses its moral, collective authority to speak on behalf
of the working poor who deserve just wages and benefits, and a voice on the
Florida’s minimum wage of $7.21 per hour, or approximately $1153 gross
income per month, does not go very far in South Florida. In a single family
household, parents constantly struggle with the decision of whether to pay the
rent or medical bills, whether to pay for utilities or medication. Based on our
religious belief in the value of work as a contribution to society, no working
person should have to choose which basic needs he or she can fulfill.
with our Current
Stop Wage Theft