Position Title: Worker Solidarity Coordinator (lower mainland B.C.)
Organization: Worker Solidarity Network
Start Date: June 2021
Rate of Pay: $23.00/hour
Hours of Work: 35 hours/week (Full-time)
Benefits: Paid sick days, extended health & dental benefits (including a $1,000 health spending account)
The Worker Solidarity Network is a province-wide organization that combats workplace exploitation within the unsurrendered homelands of approximately 200 Indigenous Nations across “B.C.”
This position would be based primarily on the Lands of the Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), and S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) Peoples.
The Worker Solidarity Network (WSN), formerly the Retail Action Network, is a non-profit worker centre dedicated to ending precarious work in B.C. Our goal is to build collective worker power through the key pillars of our work, which include: support, education, and advocacy for workers whose rights are violated; workplace based direct action campaigns that are worker-led and help recover stolen wages; and broader province-wide campaigning to raise workplace standards and strengthen labour protections.
In 2021, after five years as “the Retail Action Network” we officially changed our name and launched as the Worker Solidarity Network. With this shift our mandate has expanded to include a broader geographical scope and wider range of precarious work beyond the retail and restaurant sectors.
Bring your passion for community-based organizing and drive to improve working conditions and wages in low-wage work to this exciting new position. Your role will be key to growing our membership, building WSN’s worker center movement, and organizing for change that impacts precarious workers. The position combines outreach and membership building with worker support through our Solidarity Stewards Program. The purpose of the Solidarity Stewards Program is to help workers take action to get workplace justice and empower workers to organize for change.
Scope of the position
Outreach and membership development:
- Work with WSN staff, board and membership to develop and put into action a membership engagement and outreach strategy to build WSN’s worker membership on the lower mainland
- Create and support WSN worker membership engagement activities on the mainland
- Collaborate with WSN staff and members to grow campaigns and broaden WSN’s physical presence on the lower mainland (e.g. by organizing action days, leafleting, postering, conducting outreach to workers etc.)
- Work with WSN staff and members to build the leadership of workers through membership organizer trainings for mainland membership (e.g. support the growth of regional training opportunities to help build community organizing skills among membership)
Solidarity stewards response:
- Help workers navigate/learn about their legal rights, and point out the gaps in the law and how workers can organize for better working conditions
- Respond to phone calls/emails from workers, offer support and seek to understand their experience of injustice
- Educate workers about ways they can take action and organize for better working conditions (e.g. union drive, worker-led direct action campaign, filing complaints with government agencies)
- Host wage-theft clinics in the community (and online) for low-wage workers to help workers handle wage theft problems
- Assist workers in taking action by writing letters to employers demanding the recovery of stolen wages, and helping workers file complaints with the Employment Standards Branch
- Maintain ongoing contact with workers to build relationships and make an otherwise bureaucratic process more human.
Qualifications, experience and skills
- Familiarity with labour issues experienced by low-wage workers, especially those working in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, and the ‘gig-economy’
- Knowledge, and/or lived experience, of how multiple forms of systemic oppression intersect to shape the experiences of people working in low wage work environments. Including, for example, the role of race, gender, and immigration status in shaping people’s experiences in paid labour
- Knowledge of (or eagerness to learn more about) B.C. Employment Standards and other labour laws in BC that set out workers’ legal rights
- Experience supporting and creating membership/volunteer engagement programming or activities
- Experience working with volunteers and organizing volunteer groups or committees
- Attentive listener with the ability to provide a respectful space for workers to feel comfortable and share their experiences
- Committed to confidentiality in dealing with sensitive information
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, setting and meeting your own deadlines, and working in a way that is self-directed and self-motivated
- Detail-oriented and excellent organizational, planning and time-management skills, including ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
- Strong collaboration skills and the ability to work harmoniously with diverse people and organizations in the community
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills to respectfully engage with a number of workers from diverse backgrounds
- Ability to communicate in languages other than English is a strong asset
- Lived experience working in precarious, low wage work is a strong asset
Flexibility to accommodate meetings and action days that extend into the evenings and weekends is required.
- Commitment to workplace justice and grassroots worker organizing
- An understanding that the Worker Solidarity Network operates with a decolonizing framework that respects relationships with the original people and spirit of this territory, and reflects on how our work at WSN may be bound up with systems and processes of ongoing colonization
Our commitment to employment equity
Employment equity practices are used to work towards the inclusion of all people in paid work. Employment equity practicies recognize that capitalism, racism, colonialism, ableism, sexism, and other isms and forms of systemic discrimination shape people’s work experiences and result in unfair and unequal employment situations that include: under-employment, harassment and discrimination at work, low wages or pay inequity, limited opportunities for promotion, or exclusion from being hired in the first place.
We strongly encourage and welcome applications from Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, people with disabilities, women, non-binary, LGBTQ2 + people, and people from additional equity seeking groups.
COVID-19 and work environment
Due to COVID-19, this position will be performed largely remote and require the ability to work online and communicate daily through Zoom, Email, and Slack. When safe to do so, this position will require working from an office environment in Metro Vancouver and work-related travel. This position includes in person outreach activities (such as postering and flyering) to reach low-wage workers during the pandemic.
How to apply
Please email a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday May 24, 2021. Only short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
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