The Pioneer Valley Workers’ Center builds power with low-wage and immigrant workers throughout Western Massachusetts. Together, we organize to build community and win real change in the lives of working people.
We are proud to work closely with Lucio Perez and Irida Kakhtiranova, who have taken physical sanctuary in local churches. We are honored to work with faith leaders and people of faith at both the First Church Amherst and the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. Both of these brave individuals are currently are fighting their deportation cases from the safety of sanctuary in faith congregations, alongside their families and communities.
We support Lucio and Irida and their home faith communities through organizing around their campaigns. Taking physical sanctuary is a form of resistance to the state violence and the deportation machine, lived and fought 24-hour a day. Join us in supporting their work!
Donate to support Irida's family and legal costs here.
Supporting Our Workers
We have bilingual volunteer opportunities and phone responder trainings for Sanctuary in the Streets
Learn how you can help with:
- Court accompaniment
- Interpreting for meetings & events
- Rideshare coordinating
- Answering the Sanctuary in the Streets Hotline
Justice Cup 2018 Date TBA
The Justice Cup is our annual summer soccer tournament. Teams from Holyoke to Greenfield play soccer, enjoy good food, and celebrate the amazing social justice work being done across the Pioneer Valley. You don’t have to play soccer to come and enjoy the fun. The tournament also provides a platform for local workers to lift their voices and speak up at the mic about their experiences on the job.
Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for updates!
Why have a Workers Center?
The Pioneer Valley prides itself on being a hub of the local food movement which values sustainability, buying local, and fair trade, yet the jobs of those who serve food in its restaurants are characterized by low wages, few benefits, discrimination, no voice at work, and little opportunity for advancement.
Currently it is employers and consumers who dominate the dialogue around the food systems in our region while the voices and interests of workers are left unheard.
In the absence of grassroots base-building that seeks to connect and organize diverse groups of restaurant workers, there is little opportunity to engage in the direct action needed to create the systemic change that improves conditions for all food workers.