Last week, the National Center for Transgender Equality discharged all employees in a bargaining unit organized under the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU); the employees were seeking recognition of a union.
The NPEU has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the NCTE, alleging that NCTE drew out the union recognition process, and that these delays became untenable in August when management unjustly fired a person of color from the organization, prompting a walkout. After this, the workers say, the workplace became increasingly hostile, with union-affiliated workers facing pressure to quit.
NPEU condemns the actions of NCTE leadership. By busting their staff's union and retaliating against collective action, they have done a disservice to their organization's own mission. According to NCTE's own research, transgender people often lack legal protections in the workplace, which leads to high levels of unemployment and poverty. Moreover, one in six transgender workers have lost a job due to discrimination. By failing to recognize NCTE's staff union and pushing the majority of the employees out of the organization, NCTE has not only taken away the staff's livelihood, but has hurt the movement for transgender equality. Ironically, organizing a union and negotiating a contract that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity is the only way for transgender workers to have explicit legal protections in the workplace in over half the country.
Nonprofit Professional Employees Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Against National Center for Transgender Equality Leadership For Retaliation Against Staff Organizing [Nonprofit Professional Employees Union]
(Thanks, Kathy Padilla!)