‘Now This Ain’t Right’ – The Southern Poverty Law Center ‘Won't Voluntarily Recognize’ Employee Union & Instead Hires Union Avoidance Law Firm To Fight It
(MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA) - Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) management will not voluntarily recognize a Union organized by Employees at the Civil Rights Non-Profit and have hired a Virginia law firm whose website boasts about victories over Labor Organization attempts.
In a memo to Employees, Lecia Brooks - the Chief Workplace Transformation Officer for the SPLC, said that directors of the non-profit had voted to allow an election to go forward, saying they wanted “to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to be heard.”
“There are Employees at SPLC, mostly Women of Color and Lower-Wage Workers who are often left out or often 'spoken for' instead of engaged and given a space for their own agency,” the memo said. “We want current and future employees to know and feel that their voices matter and their needs are met.”
The SPLC Union said in a statement it was “disappointed” in the decision, but that it would go through an election, if necessary.
“Management's refusal to voluntarily recognize the Union and decision to hire a law firm that specializes in 'Union Avoidance Strategies' are counter to SPLC's values,” the statement said. “The Center cannot truly claim to support Workers' Rights, while also hiring a 'Union Avoidance' Law Firm to prevent its own workers from exercising our right to collective bargaining.”
SPLC Employees formed the Union after a year of turmoil in the Civil Rights Organization that saw Founder Morris Dees fired and several top executives, including President Richard Cohen and Legal Director Rhonda Brownstein, depart the SPLC.
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