Texas Workers Defense Project

Workers Defense Project:

Agape Memorial in partnership with the Workers Defense Project (WDP) organizes, directs services, develops grassroots leaders, and provides advocacy for the Hispanic and Immigrant communities in Dallas. WDP hold monthly meetings at Agape Memorial UMC every first Wednesday of the Month. In December we hold our joint Christmas POSADA celebration.

In Dallas through Education, training, and wage claim victories the DWP has:

·         Trained 14,800 low-wage workers’ about their employment rights and how to best defend them.  

·         Educated 113 contractors about their rights and responsibilities and provided technical assistance to build successful businesses.

·         Recovered $1,143,000 in back wages for over 1,100 low-wage workers through legal and direct action.

·         Graduated over 200 immigrant workers from WDP’s leadership development course that places a focus on building an analysis of the root causes of social inequality.

·         Involved over 100 youth in WDP’s mission through the organization’s enrichment childcare program that gives youth the opportunity to speak out about social issues that affect their lives and express themselves through art, music, and other enrichment activities.

·         Graduated 232 immigrant workers from English as Second language courses helping them develop their skills to find better employment opportunities.

·         Engaged 175 volunteers in more than 11,000 hours of volunteer work (2013 only)

Better Builder victories:

·         Signed six landmark agreements with Austin developers. The agreements combine expanded safety protections, hiring requirements, living wages and monitoring of construction sites to improve working conditions.

·         Monitored three construction sites, ensuring fair working conditions for 2,650 workers. During the projects WDP monitored:

·         1,065 workers increased their wages by an average of $2.21 per hour.

·         1,255 workers were covered by workers’ compensation policies when they otherwise wouldn’t have been.

·         1,078 workers received an OSHA 10-hour safety training for the first time.

·         28 workers received overtime pay that otherwise wouldn’t have.

·         35 potentially dangerous serious safety violations were corrected by WDP monitors.

·         Created 5,000 good construction jobs that pay living wages, include expanded safety protections, and provide job training to help workers advance in the workplace.

 Immigration victories:

·         Co-founded the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, which mobilized 30,000 Austinites for just immigration reform in 2006—the largest march in the city’s history.

·         Coordinated “A Day without an Immigrant” along with the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, closing down an estimated 80% of restaurants and construction sites in the city to demonstrate the significant role immigrants play in the U.S. economy.

·         Reduced Austin immigrant deportations by 60 percent through the formation of a broad-based coalition, compelling the Austin Police Department to issue citations for misdemeanor offenses instead of arresting offenders, which could have led to deportation.

·         Defeated Anti-Day Labor Bill HB 904 at the state level that sought to prohibit government agencies from constructing or operating day labor centers that service undocumented immigrants. WDP spearheaded a campaign against this bill by forming a coalition with the ACLU of Texas, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) and the Texas AFL-CIO to defeat this bill;

·         Defeated an Anti-Day Labor Ordinance that was proposed by City Council that sought to make public solicitation—including seeking work—illegal, and would have adversely affected hundreds of day laborers. WDP formed a broad coalition and defeated the bill, and won the passage of a pro-day-labor resolution by City Council, reaffirming their commitment to provide better services at day laborer centers and creating a Day Labor Advisory Committee with a seat designated for a day laborers

·         Published a report in February 2013 titled Build a Better Nation: A Case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform that showed that although undocumented workers were vital to the Texas construction industry, they were more likely to face workplace abuses.


For more information please email agapeumcpastor@gmail.com or call the church office 214-826-8686.

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