During the pandemic, Local 5 has had an explosion of new organizing and has supported those efforts in every way possible while continuing to organize internally and administer its existing contracts. With so many newly organized workplaces comes the need for additional resources. We are using GoFundMe as a virtual "pass the hat" — the traditional way unions have fundraised for Strike Funds. All funds raised will be placed in a dedicated account reserved for newly organized workers who go on strike in order to achieve a fair first contract. The first contract is often the hardest, and workers should have every tool available to them to get the contract they deserve. We appreciate any assistance the community can provide.
Here are two of the campaigns your donation will support:
—WE ARE GROWING SEEDS WORKERS UNION—
Growing Seeds Workers Union includes workers at three child care centers, with around 50 teachers and support staff. Workers voted to unionize with Local 5 in March of 2020, just days before the pandemic hit our community. For the last two years, we have tried to collaborate with the owner, Kyrie Eppley. Instead of upholding the community values she professes and on which the centers are based, we have been met with bad faith negotiations, unilateral changes, discrimination against union activists, and attempted direct dealing. We have filed multiple Unfair Labor Practices with the Labor Board and done everything we can to avoid disruption of the care we provide to families. We are not taking this next step lightly. However, given the lack of any other meaningful choice, we are now looking to take that next step — to stand up for our rights as union members and let Growing Seeds know that we deserve to be treated better. As low-wage workers (Growing Seeds is a for-profit preschool which means teachers suffer lower pay to sustain Kyrie's profit margins), we know a strike will be difficult. In addition to doing everything we can to support each other, pick up odd jobs, and dig into our meager savings, it is going to take a larger community to support our efforts. We appreciate anything you can donate to help us strike and send a message to the bosses: Preschool Teachers and ALL WORKERS Deserve Respect and a Fair Contract!
—WE ARE SALTY'S & FANG! WORKERS UNION—
The workers of Fang! Pet and Garden Supply went public with our union efforts June 6, 2022. Despite clear super majority support, bargaining has been delayed pending the NLRB vote. Since our announcement to unionize, the workplace at Fang! has changed significantly, and we have experienced blatant hostility from on-site supervisors. When we escalated our concerns, we were brushed off and told there wasn't an issue.
While we're still in the early stages of the unionization process, we acknowledge the power of a strike and want to be prepared should it become necessary. As tensions rise in the workplace, we are actively considering that option. We remain hopeful that we can work together, with management and the owner, to move forward in a way that is fair for all, and without a strike. We love being there for our community to help with their pet and plant needs, and we deserve fair treatment and respect from management.
In looking to the future, given our low wages, we will do our best to support each other, but if a strike does occur, we will need help from our community to keep us afloat. We greatly appreciate how our customers have shown their support for us in the last few weeks and hope for continued support in the future. We also would like to show our solidarity with our fellow Local 5 members at Growing Seeds. Their fight is our fight.
As workers in the process of unionizing, we are building communities and relationships of support. When workers unite, we can help each other and we will win.