The Long Island chapter of Jobs With Justice emerged out of the Coalition to Save Long Island Jobs (CSLJ) in 2003. The Coalition itself was created to develop support among community, labor, and religious activists for the workers of Teamsters Local 282 who were striking in opposition to the efforts of King Kullen, in the mid-1990s, to export jobs out of state to a non-union company. Led by then LIPC director, Judy Pannullo, the Coalition proved quite effective in mobilizing popular support for the striking workers.
With the conclusion of the strike, we decided that the activist network we had created was too valuable to disappear. We maintained and developed an on-going activist coordination, including the organization of a strike support network. But, given the multi-issue focus of the LIPC, we decided that our worker support network would be more effective if we were to spin it off as a separate organization, with its quite particular mission, strategy, and membership. The availability of an existing national network of JWJ chapters proved to be the perfect framework to provide substantial guidance, program, and support.
Working with Judy Pannullo, we coordinated the process of affiliation with JWJ, and then morphed CSLJ into LI JWJ. I helped organize and chair many of the founding meetings. I helped draft its Mission Statement and ByLaws. Since the inception of LI JWJ, I initially represented the LIPC on its Delegate Assembly, and have continued to serve on its Executive Committee, and on its Personnel Committee ever since.