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Center for Biological Diversity Recognizes Employee Union After Card Check: Workers For Biological Diversity Joins Communications Workers of America

By Beth Allen, Communications Workers of America, Ross Middlemiss, Workers for Biological Diversity, and Jean Su, Center for Biological Diversity - Center for Biological Diversity, August 6, 2021

The Center for Biological Diversity recognized its new employee union today following a union card count showing that 68% of the eligible workers support joining the union.

Workers at the national conservation organization announced the formation of Workers for Biological Diversity/CWA in mid-June, in partnership with Communications Workers of America Local 9415. Center leadership pledged to voluntarily recognize the union if a majority of workers signed cards supporting union membership.

The new union includes paralegals and lawyers, organizers, media specialists, scientists, membership, development and IT staff. Today’s count was verified by Elizabeth Bunn, national policy director at the Labor Network for Sustainability.

“Joining the labor movement makes the Center for Biological Diversity an even stronger advocate for threatened communities, wildlife and wild places. At this pivotal moment for our planet, we’re standing with workers against big polluters and other powerful interests,” the Workers for Biological Diversity Organizing Committee said. “We’re stronger when we band together. And we want to thank our partners at the Communications Workers of America for helping us elevate and amplify our work.”

“Since the Center’s beginning, we’ve stood alongside the labor movement to fight pollution, dangerous working conditions and corporate attacks on the environment, human health and the climate,” said Jean Su, a member of the Center’s Executive Conservation Team. “Such collaboration is more important than ever as we face a climate emergency and the need to shift from a dirty economy to one with good-paying, unionized renewable energy jobs. We support and empower every person who works at the Center, and we look forward to partnering with Workers for Biological Diversity as we continue this vital work for all people and the planet.”

The Center’s new union is part of a growing unionization trend among workers at environmental and other nonprofit organizations, including the Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, 350.org, Defenders of Wildlife, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We are very pleased to welcome these new members to CWA Local 9415,” said Decovan “Coby” Rhem, president of CWA Local 9415. “As a local union that has long worked to join our movement with those working in progressive nonprofits to create systemic changes, we see the Workers for Biological Diversity/CWA as an important addition to our CWA family, in particularly strengthening our commitment to supporting the work of environmental justice and to oppose climate change.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is based in Tucson, Ariz. and has offices throughout the country and in Mexico. Its conservation programs include Endangered Species, Environmental Health, Oceans, Public Lands, Carnivore Conservation, Urban Wildlands, Population and Sustainability, International, Energy Justice, Environmental Equity and Justice, Government Affairs and the Climate Law Institute.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Workers for Biological Diversity is a union of Center employees affiliated with the Communications Workers of America. Follow on Twitter @Workers4BioDiv.

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