WASHINGTON, DC — On May 24th, staff at Emerge, the nation’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, overwhelmingly voted to unionize and were voluntarily recognized by Emerge management. Civil rights activist Heather Booth conducted a card-check as a neutral party and confirmed the employees’ decision to join Local 205 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“My coworkers and I are proud to have unionized and are excited to join the growing labor movement across the country,” said Freda Player, Executive Director of Emerge Tennessee. “Emerge is an organization that has always shared in the union values of fair labor practices, open communication, and workers’ rights. As we enter the next stage of this process, we look forward to working with Emerge and know that they will continue to be a strong advocate and ally for these values.”
Emerge joins EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and the Democratic National Committee among a growing group of progressive nonprofits becoming union workplaces. The trend mirrors an increasingly active labor union movement across the country, notably at major corporations such as Starbucks and Amazon.
“Emerge was happy to voluntarily recognize our staff’s decision to unionize and is excited to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement,” said Staceye Randle, People Operation Director at Emerge. “Unions and what they provide to workers are at the core of Emerge’s values. They help ensure fairness, justice and equity, which are things we strive towards every day in our work. Our organization also has a long and storied history with unions through strong partnerships, collaborations on trainings, and their longstanding financial support that we are so grateful to receive. At Emerge, we believe in the work that unions do, and we look forward to participating in a cooperative and collaborative process.”
SEIU is one of the largest unions in the country with over 2 million members in the healthcare, public sector, property services, and numerous other industries. Local 205 is based in Tennessee and will represent both Emerge national staff and state executive directors spread out across the country.
“We are thrilled the workers at Emerge chose to exercise their power to form a union and become part of our Local.” said Brad Rayson, President of SEIU Local 205. “Every worker deserves a union and our country grows stronger with every new workplace that is organized. We’re grateful to Emerge for accepting the voluntary recognition and look forward to a good faith negotiation.”