KIM BOBO

Daily Point of Light # 1729 Sep 19, 2000

Kim Bobo tirelessly fights for justice for low-wage workers in America, particularly those who work in our nation’s poultry industry. As founder and director of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, Bobo is the driving force behind a unique program that boosts the religious community’s involvement in the everyday struggles of workers.

Workers in America have an increasingly difficult task in improving their wages and working conditions through unions. One in every ten workers is fired for trying to organize a union. In the poultry industry alone, 250,000 minority workers toil in unspeakable conditions to earn wages that leave them below the federal poverty level.

The conditions in these plants are America’s hidden shame. Workers stand in freezing cold plants and make hundreds of painful, repetitive motions a day. They are forced to work overtime without compensation and still struggle to support themselves or their family. Large companies appear to seek out vulnerable people to work the poultry lines. They offer low wages to those who are already living in poverty or too frightened to stand up for their rights in the workplace. Only 30% of poultry workers have the protection of a union.

Kim Bobo has taken it upon herself to speak up for the rights of America’s poultry workers. She has built a nationwide network of people of faith who are taking action in their communities to support workers’ right to organize for a voice on the job. Through the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice’s Poultry Program, religious leaders and other concerned citizens have reached out to support poultry workers in North Carolina, the Delmarva Peninsula, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas.

Bobo and the Interfaith Committee have helped poultry workers and other low-wage workers organize for better wages and working conditions in communities across the country. She has provided innumerable resources for congregations to spread the word about the need for people to take on behalf of low-wage workers. While receiving minimal compensation for her work as Director of the National Interfaith Committee, Bobo creates opportunities for community members and people of faith to volunteer their time on behalf of workers.

Bobo founded the Chicago Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice in 1991. During 1996, she founded the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. She spent a decade as the director of organizing for Bread for the World, ten years as trainer of organizers at the Midwest Academy and is the author of “Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing” and “Organizes for Social Change.”

To learn more about the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, see the organization’s Web site at www.nationalinterfaith.org

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