Voz is a worker's rights education project that protects basic rights and provides education for day laborers in Portland. In 2008, the organization opened the MLK Jr. Worker Center as an initiative of the City of Portland to increase the safety and equity of the Central Eastside Industrial District. It has since become an important community institution, as it has decreased public safety concern now that less people congregate on the street to look for work and disrupt area businesses.
The center also provides accountability to employers and sets a minimum wage of $10 per hour (possibly $12 currently) to protect workers from exploitation. The MLK Jr. Worker Center has generated over 16,000 jobs for Portland area day laborers. Voz's 5-year lease on the center ended in June 2013 and the property can be sold as early as December per their month-to-month lease contract starting in July. Mobilizing our community around a permanent home for this center is urgent!
Voz is building community support from area business owners, employers, allies, individuals and unions. Please join them in their efforts to ensure a permanent home for the MLK Jr. Worker Center.