We, the staff of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, are proud to have unionized because we know it will make our workplaces stronger and more equitable.
Our organizations have produced independent research that shows the value of unions in reducing racial and gendered wage disparities, increasing economic mobility, and strengthening workers’ voices. It is our belief in this research—and our commitment to each other—that inspired us to form our respective unions.
Thus, we call on the management of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute to respect the right of staff to form a union and to refrain from any actions that could be construed as discouraging us from exercising this right. To live up to our organization’s democratic values, it is critical that staff make the decision to form a union without any interference from leadership—interference such as workplace communication of anti-union messages or attempts to reduce or divide the appropriate bargaining unit.
As President Biden stated in an address on February 28, 2021:
“The choice to join a union is up to the workers—full stop. There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences. Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union.”
The best way to show respect for staff and to honor the work and legacy of our institutions is to grant voluntary recognition of our respective unions—without interference or coercion—so that we may begin building a new collaborative culture together.