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Interfaith Gathering to Demand Better Working Conditions

April 11, 2013
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Rabbi Eli Freedman

Some 4,000 people, representing more than 40 Jewish, Christian and Muslim congregations across the city, are expected to turn out at a North Philadelphia Church on April 21 to press Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council to improve wages for janitors, baggage handlers and other employees at the Philadelphia International Airport.

The program is being sponsored by Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Eli Freedman, an associate rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Shalom on North Broad Street, is one of the leaders of the group and will be speaking at the program. Rabbi Linda Holtzman, religious leader of Miskhan Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Roxborough, is also slated to speak. Half a dozen synagogues are either members of POWER or exploring membership.    

The agreement governing the airport positions expires on June 30.

In a press release, the organization called for a new agreement that includes “include living wages, benefits for workers and a first source hiring program that offers jobs to residents in the city's most economically distressed neighborhoods."

The program is set to take place at 3 p.m. at the Deliverance Evangelistic Church at 2001 West Lehigh Ave.

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