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Educational equity workers unionize with IAM 160

The following is from IAM District 160:

(Jan. 4, 2022) — Employees at non-profit Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) won their union election, capping off a year-long organizing effort seeking to gain greater voice in their workplace. Uniquely, the union — organized under the name “LEE United,” by The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 160 — consists of approximately 116 employees predominantly working remotely, many of whom have never met in person. This organizing drive was completely virtual at every step of the process.

“So many of us poured many of our hopes, concerns, and aspirations for a more equitable workplace into this movement,” shared one bargaining unit member of LEE staff. “Each and every one of us felt some level of vulnerability throughout this process, but we are so glad it has paid off. We’re excited about the work to come. We know we’ve only just begun.”

This hard-won victory comes despite various attempts by management to negatively influence union supporters.

“We whole-heartedly support our LEE non-profit brothers, sisters, and siblings in their desire to unionize,” said District 160 Acting Directing Business Representative Bonnie Kosten. “LEE employees’ commitment to strengthening their workplace by joining together with their colleagues is impressive, and we are so excited they have decided to organize with us!” 

Leadership for Educational Equity is a national nonprofit leadership development organization inspiring and supporting a network of civic leaders to end the injustice of educational inequity. LEE employs 100+ non-supervisory employees who work to advance LEE’s mission of inspiring and supporting a diverse, enduring movement of leaders to engage civically within their communities to end the injustice of educational inequity.

IAM District 160 represents nearly 10,000 workers and retirees in the Pacific Northwest and is headquartered in Seattle. IAM District 160 members range from traditional heavy machine mechanics and trades workers, to private sector employees, to thousands of government employees at the city, county, and federal levels in almost every type of occupation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you ready to have a real voice at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!