FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2021
OPEIU - firstname.lastname@example.org
Defenders United - DefendersUnited2021@gmail.com
Washington D.C.—On July 8, 2021, a supermajority of eligible employees at Defenders of Wildlife announced their intention to form a union, Defenders United, in pursuit of a stronger, more equitable, and even more effective workplace. Defenders United has requested voluntary recognition from the management of Defenders of Wildlife and will be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), Local 2. Defenders of Wildlife is an environmental non-profit dedicated to the conservation of imperiled species and the protection of the places they call home.
“We are coming together to form a union to help solve some of Defenders of Wildlife’s most pressing challenges. Defenders United is committed to improving working conditions for employees, increasing staff involvement in key decisions, reducing staff turnover and brain drain, and fostering a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just workplace. We believe that by collaborating with management we can achieve that vision and ultimately create a better Defenders for staff and the wildlife who depend on us,” stated the Defenders United Organizing Committee.
“Our announcement comes at a time when environmental leaders and organizations across the nation are recognizing the importance of embedding equity and justice in our work. The staff at Defenders of Wildlife are deeply committed to Defenders’ mission to advance wildlife conservation and we recognize that in order for Defenders to be effective, the organization must first look inwards and implement diversity, equity, inclusion and justice policies that empower workers to do their best.”
Defenders United will be represented by OPEIU Local 2, which is headquartered in the D.C. area and represents over 7,000 workers. “We are incredibly excited to welcome Defenders United to OPEIU and the rapidly growing nonprofit union community,” said Local 2 organizer Kelly Russo. Defenders United joins over 40 nonprofits that are represented by OPEIU. “Defenders United members have led one of the most robust and intentional organizing efforts we’ve supported,” noted Russo. “They have displayed a clear commitment to strengthening their workplace, recognizing that all employees should have the equal opportunity to learn and grow at Defenders. We look forward to management promptly recognizing their union.”
OPEIU Local 2 is a labor union supporting over 8,000 professional workers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We represent staff members across a number of sectors, including healthcare, non-profit, and more.
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