Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Workers Defense Project, Worksite Monitor, Application Deadline, BTT Gateway Job ID 9218

Fri, October 24, 2014

Created in 2002, WDP is a statewide, membership-based organization devoted to workers’ rights and advocacy, chiefly aiming to build power among Texas construction workers. Its mission – to empower low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships – is accomplished through a network of dedicated staff, volunteers and members. 

WDP is one of the few organizations in Texas focused on addressing workplace abuse faced by low-wage laborers. Among the most established worker centers in the South, and a leader in the national movement of worker centers fighting for fair conditions for working people, WDP has won numerous awards for its cutting-edge achievements within one of the country’s most difficult climates for workers. The New York Times described WDP as "one of the most creative organizations for immigrant workers in the country". 

Each year, WDP serves over 2,500 workers through offices in Austin and Dallas by way of various direct service and organizing programs. WDP concentrates its efforts on winning better work conditions in the construction industry, which is among the most powerful special interest groups in Texas and employs over 900,000 workers statewide, half of whom are undocumented.

Achievements: 
Recovered over $1,150,000 in back wages for 1,100 low-wage workers through negotiation, legal and direct action. 
Won 5,000 good construction jobs that pay living wages, include expanded safety protections, and provide job training to help workers advance in the workplace by signing landmark agreements with large -scale commercial developers. 
Passed Texas’ first misclassification protection law that imposes fines on employers caught misclassifying employees on public contracts – protecting not just construction workers, but any worker employed by a state contractor. 
Won one of the nation’s most progressive economic development policies. To be eligible for tax incentives from the City of Austin, companies must now agree to ensure higher standards on construction projects including: living and prevailing wages, OSHA basic safety training, workers’ compensation coverage, protection from misclassification for all workers on the project, and local hiring incentives from underserved and under-employed worker populations. 
Passed a statewide wage theft law that allows police departments across Texas to arrest employers who don’t pay their workers. 
Won a federal OSHA investigation into Texas’ deadly construction industry. Under this initiative, OSHA conducted nearly 900 inspections throughout the state, resulting in close to 1,500 citations and fines totaling almost $2 million. Overall the investigation resulted in a 60% increase in construction safety inspections throughout the state, saving countless lives. 
Won paid rest breaks for Austin’s 60,000 construction workers by holding a "thirst strike" with WDP construction worker members and leaders outside of City Hall during the summer. 
Won changes in city contracts to require basic OSHA 10 hour safety trainings for all construction workers on city-funded sites. 
Trained over 15,000 low-wage workers about their employment rights and how to best defend them. 


JOB DESCRIPTION 
WDP is hiring a full-time Worksite Monitor in Houston, TX for its Research and Policy Program. The Worksite Monitor will be an integral part of WDP’s statewide campaign to directly challenge deadly and unlawful working conditions in the Texas construction industry. The Worksite Monitor will lead WDP’s efforts in Houston, coordinating public action, media attention, and grassroots leadership development of workers to call attention to these conditions. The Worksite Monitor will also build WDP’s partnerships with community allies, industry leaders, the press, and public officials in Houston. 
RESPONSIBILITIES: 
Execute strategic public actions in coordination with WDP’s Research and Policy Director and Business Liaison; 
Conduct worksite monitoring at construction sites on a weekly basis to interview workers, assess workplace violations, and assist workers in filing employment claims; 
Outreach to construction workers’ neighborhoods to build trust and community partnerships; 
Work with appropriate government agencies to document and investigate cases of workplace abuse; 
Raise awareness about issues impacting the construction workforce by coordinating with local, statewide, and national media; 
Develop the leadership of construction workers who can participate and take leadership roles in WDP’s campaigns for workplace fairness; 
Engage a broad base of diverse community members in support of organizing campaigns and advocacy, including luxury condo residents, faith and labor allies, students, funders, responsible construction businesses and others; 
Any other activities that are necessary to carry out the work of WDP. 

JOB REQUIREMENTS: 
1-2 years work experience (prefered); 
Fluent in English and Spanish; 
Must own an insured motor vehicle, preferably a car, and must be willing to travel statewide; 
Ability to work irregular hours including nights and weekends (position is full-time salaried); 
Works well with diverse groups of people (including faith, labor, and Latina/o immigrants, etc.); 
Commitment to social justice, furthering workers rights, and building a broader labor movement;
Creative thinker, able to overcome major obstacles to successful organizing; 
Willing to put in extra time and effort to meet urgent deadlines; 
Computer literate and demonstrated proficiency with technology (Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc); 
Previous organizing or related experience (preferred); 
Past experience in the construction industry or working with construction workers (desired); 
Excellent written and oral communication skills; 
Superior leadership, critical thinking, and strategic planning skills; 
Must be a self-starter and be able to work independently. 

COMPENSATION: 
Competitive Salary 
Full employer-covered health insurance 
Paid vacation and sick leave 
Maternity/paternity leave 
403b Retirement Plan for qualified employees
 
 
 
BTT Gateway Job ID 9218 

 

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    University of Texas at Austin
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