Oct 28, 2022 | News Story

VOCAL-NY Workers Unionize with UAW 2325, Are Quickly Recognized by Employer

On Monday, workers at Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY), a statewide grassroots membership organization that builds power among low-income people directly impacted by HIV/AIDS, the drug war, mass incarceration, and homelessness, announced their intention to unionize with Legal Aid Attorneys UAW 2325. In a letter delivered to management and posted to social media, workers at the nonprofit expressed their commitment to fighting for systemic change and dismantling systems of oppression.

At the same time, they wrote, "we all seek to avoid enforcing the ideology that it is normal for people, particularly people of color, to feel burnt out, unprotected, and disempowered at work. We envision a workplace where we can implement a model of collective decision-making which values and respects workers' time and labor, just compensation, and a focus on increasing worker satisfaction—all of which will increase a sense of belonging and community with one another across the state."

VOCAL-NY quickly expressed the organization's support for the right of workers to unionize, and publicly committed to moving forward a process for voluntary recognition. The employer and the union signed a voluntary recognition agreement and agreed on a bargaining unit the next day. Follow the new VOCAL Unite NY Union on Twitter!