New York, NY – Workers in Florida have made the Miami Office of Planned Parenthood only the second Planned Parenthood in the nation to organize this week, after voting overwhelmingly on Wednesday, February 28, to join the ranks Local 153 of OPEIU – Office and Professional Employees International Union.
The Washington, DC office of Planned Parenthood organized in 2016.
Although the actual number of Miami employees who voted is small, 11 in total, Local 153 Organizing Director Nick Galinpeau calls the victory significant.
“We are seeing that more and more non-profit employees are organizing; there is an uptick in the numbers,” Galinpeau said.
Other non-profits that are already unionized include Amnesty International, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Media Matters, Public Citizen, Oxfam America, and the Sierra Club.
“In general, workers in non-profits are largely accepting lower pay because of the mission-type of work they are doing. [But] most workers want to have a voice, and pay and benefits and working conditions are a piece of it,” Galinpeau continued.
The employees in Miami had asked Planned Parenthood for union recognition previous to the vote, and were denied. That moved triggered this week’s winning election. Now, Planned Parenthood is legally obligated to bargain with Local 153.
However, says Galinpeau, “This was not an adversarial campaign. Planned Parenthood is a social justice organization, and there are many crossovers between labor and reproductive health around the world. The employees that organized in Miami strongly feel that having the right to be part of a union will allow them to connect those dots within the social justice community, and help them have more standing doing the work they do.”
And Planned Parenthood’s standing has earned the union’s respect.
“Every workplace deserves a union,” Local 153 Business Manager, Michael Goodwin said. “As an organization with a long history of fighting alongside unions in favor of workers’ rights, OPEIU welcomes Planned Parenthood Federation of America to the table. We hope for a collaborative negotiation process and look forward to working together.”