WJP in the News


December 11, 2017

Shift Change: How New Orleans hospitality workers are organizing their industry

“Drawing on 2014 U.S. Census data, a recent report from Loyola University’s Workplace Justice Project noted 34 percent of Orleans Parish’s primary jobs that paid less than $1,250 a month were in “accommodation and food services.” It’s a pattern of compensation workers say is both insufficient and unfair, considering the value they create — and how much of their lives they give to their jobs.”

“Erika Zucker, Workplace Justice Center policy advocate, also points out that Louisiana’s complicated, racially charged legacy with the industrial unions and its status as a right-to-work state (meaning, among other things, employees are not obligated to pay dues at unionized workplaces, undercutting unions’ influence) create a less-than-receptive local climate for organized labor.”

Read the full story here.


November 29, 2016

Dozens take part in ‘Fight for 15’ protest in Gert town

“In New Orleans, protesters stormed down Carrollton Avenue at dawn and right into a McDonald’s restaurant as they continue to demand change when it comes to minimum wages in the city, state and nation.”

“We have no state minimum wage in Louisiana, but most people are paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Even $15 an hour, what folks are asking for, still gets you to only $31,000 a year,” said Erika Zucker, with Workplace Justice Project at the Loyola Law Center.”

Watch the video here.

Read the full story here.

May 18, 2016

La. Legislature considering minimum wage increase

“Louisiana is one of five states with no state minimum wage, joining Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina. Those states all adopt the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Other states have set their minimum wage at or below the federal level; 21 states have a minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour.”

Read the full story here.

April 2, 2016

Report says poverty, racial disparity, other major issues face Gulf South

“Louisiana ranks 51st — dead last among all states and the District of Columbia — in an index of nine “social justice indicators” that measure poverty, racial disparity and immigrant exclusion, according to experts from the Jesuit Social Justice Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans.”

Read the full story here.

March 17, 2016

Louisiana dead last in U.S. social justice, report says

“Shorting workers also contributes to the state’s budget crisis, Zucker said, by keeping various taxes out of the coffers. Louisiana faces a $70 million budget gap for the fiscal year that ends in June, and a $750 million gap next year. If companies were forced to pay their employees and to report it accurately, “We could fill a little bit of that hole,” she said.”

Read the full story here.



August 31, 2015

Bush Administration Exemption Allowed Contractors To Steal Wages From Katrina Reconstruction Workers

“Latino workers, some of whom are undocumented, went to New Orleans in the days and weeks following the disaster to help with reconstruction efforts and debris and mold removal. But even a decade later, many remain underpaid or unpaid. Over the past few years, the Workplace Justice Project, an organization that gives free legal assistance to help mostly Latino workers recoup their lost wages, has filed claims to try to recover more than $700,000 in stolen wages.”

Read the fill story here.

August 28, 2015

Latino Workers Helped Rebuild New Orleans, But Many Workers Weren’t Paid

“We called him when we were done with the house, but he didn’t answer,” Alvarado said, adding that they later learned the contractor had left to Texas and had no intention of paying them. “He ended up owing us a total of $12,000 for the work that we did for about a month.”

Read the full story here.

August 17, 2015

People Who Rebuilt New Orleans Are Still Waiting to Get Paid

“Estimates of the wages pilfered from construction workers after Hurricane Katrina run to the tens of millions of dollars.”

Read the full story here.

Mayor Signs Living Wage Ordinance

“Erika Zucker, policy advocate with the Workplace Justice Project, said, “The Living Wage Ordinance is a good first step for the workers of New Orleans.”

Read the full press-release here.

April 01, 2015

Fast Food Workers in New Orleans, nationwide, plan April 15 Strike

“Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have set their own minimum wages above the federal $7.25 minimum wage. Louisiana is one of five states that does not have its own minimum wage law.”

Read the full story here.

March 21, 2015

Push for better wages driven by New Orleans area families falling short

“Many struggling workers want a simple benefit: actual pay for the work they do, said Erika Zucker, of the Loyola University-based Workplace Justice Project, which helped to present a symposium about low-wage work last weekend.”

Read the full story here


April 24, 2014

Louisiana Senators Kill Proposal to Raise Minimum Wage

“Senators rejected a proposal Thursday that could have increased the minimum wage in Louisiana, a vote that’s expected to shelve the debate for the legislative session”

Read the full story here.

March 26, 2014

Watch WJP’s own Policy Advocate, Erika Zucker, participate in the debate on Louisiana Public Square: “Louisiana & the Minimum Wage”, which aired Wednesday, March 26th at 7 p.m. on Louisiana Public Broadcasting HD. Zucker responds to questions like ”should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?” and “would such a move help the state’s working poor or ultimately hurt them through increased unemployment?”

Find the full program here.

March 12, 2014

Reporter Kortlynn Johnson interviews Erika Zucker, WJP Policy Advocate, to find out out how Together Louisiana prepares for the 2014 legislative proposal to raise minimum wage. Will testimonies of everyday Louisiana workers persuade legislature to raise the minimum wage?

February 16, 2014

Together Louisiana’s conference seeks to combat issues:

“The six civic academy sessions addressed mass incarceration in Louisiana, state budget and tax giveaways, health care and Medicaid expansion, work wages and economic inequality, and wetlands and environmental care.”

Read the full story here.