United We Dream workers demand a union
The 14-year organization said they look forward to “ongoing conversations.”
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The U.S.-based immigration organization, United We Dream (UWD), released a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 3, announcing a move by staffers to move forward with unionizing.
Employees approached Communication Workers of America, an organization dedicated to assisting union efforts for employees in the telecommunications, information, and technology sectors.
“For over 10 years, our staff, our members and board have led the fight to win protections for all immigrants, and that has included proudly working alongside the labor movement to ensure that every worker, regardless of background, is treated fairly and with dignity,” read part of UWD’s statement on the matter.
UWD has an extensive history and presence throughout the immigration movement in the U.S. While they’ve been operating under the official UWD name for 14 years, the organization’s resume spans over 20 years of advocacy.
In 2005, before acquiring the UWD moniker in 2008, members of the organization mobilized to prevent the deportation of Marie Harris, a Missouri native, through the We Are Marie campaign. Though Marie’s parents were deported, the movement sparked a campaign for immigrants nationwide.
In 2006, the informal congregation, alongside undocumented youth, met with then-Senator Obama and Senator Dick Durbin to discuss the beginnings of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This landmark act protects U.S.-born children of immigrants.
Their website shows UWD is the largest immigrant youth organization, with over 800,000 members across 100 local groups.
“While this process is happening, we will continue to unapologetically work alongside our 1 million members to protect immigrants from detention and deportation, and to fight for permanent protections!” the statement said in closing.
It remains unclear whether or not UWD will work amicably with workers to achieve unionization and which specific terms they are negotiating.
Executive Director Greisa Martinez called Aug. 3 a “big day” while announcing the unionization effort.
“While we move through this process transparently & enthusiastically, our important work on behalf of our members continues,” she wrote on Twitter.
AL DÍA News has reached out to both UWD and CWA for comment.