Press Release: 2023-11-20
Attorneys at Center for Reproductive Rights Announce Unionization
November 18, 2023
Manhattan, NY — Attorneys at the Center for Reproductive Rights announced their intent to join the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA) – UAW Local 2325 on Friday, November 17, 2023. The Center for Reproductive Rights Lawyers Union supports the Center’s sibling union of non-attorney U.S. staff in UAW Local 2110 and aligns with its goals of transparency and equity in decision-making and hiring, sustainable workloads, less staff turnover, and clearer and more protective standards for staff well-being.
Founded in 1992, the Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person. Through strategic litigation, legal policy, and advocacy, and by holding governments accountable, the Center’s U.S. Program—with offices in New York and Washington, DC—works to strengthen legal guarantees to ensure that reproductive rights and reproductive health services are available across the country.
Labor rights are reproductive rights and human rights. This shared vision of fundamental human rights is why the Center’s attorneys have decided to unionize. The union will hold Center leadership accountable to its staff and its mission. It will strengthen decision-making by valuing staff input—including by accounting for each staff member’s needs, especially the Center’s Black staff, non-attorney staff, and other underrepresented staff. Strengthening protections for the Center’s workforce enables the Center to meet this pivotal moment.
Center attorneys call on management to immediately voluntarily recognize the union after an overwhelming majority of eligible attorneys signed union authorization cards.
“It is crucial that we collaborate so that the Center’s treatment of its employees consistently reflects the same values that go into its human rights work. Unionizing will allow the Center’s attorneys – from legal fellows to more senior lawyers – to advocate for equity, transparency, and accountability within the organization,” said Sol Vàzquez Ortiz, Legal Fellow.
Nick Kabat, Staff Attorney, stated, “I support the Union because as a lawyer, I know the importance of having a strong advocate on your side. That’s what I believe a union will be.”
“The reproductive rights, health, and justice movements cannot afford to go on with business as usual in the post-Roe world. The Center for Reproductive Rights Lawyers Union will empower and support workers who answer directly to providers, patients, and advocates on the ground to bend the arc of the movement towards justice,” said Israel Cook, Staff Attorney.
“The Center for Reproductive Rights Union Local 2110 UAW stands in solidarity with our attorney colleagues that have decided to form their own union. Since formation of our own union in February 2020, our attorney colleagues have been staunch advocates and supporters of our efforts to improve working conditions for everyone at CRR. We are honored to work beside our attorney colleagues each day to protect and expand reproductive rights in law, and we are thrilled to stand together now to build a more equitable organization, said Genevieve Oliver, Unit Chair, Center for Reproductive Rights Union.
If their union is recognized, the attorneys at the Center for Reproductive Rights will join more than 2,700 members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA) – UAW Local 2325. ALAA – UAW Local 2325 is a union for legal and social service workers, including attorneys, paralegals, social workers, investigators, receptionists, interpreters, advocates, administrative staff, and counselors with chapters at 25+ non-profits in the NYC metropolitan area. The Union represents members at public defender and public interest legal organizations such as the Legal Aid Society, Bronx Defenders, Neighborhood Defender Service, Queens Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, as well as advocates for the indigent at non-profit social services organizations such as VOCAL-NY and New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys is the oldest union of attorneys, legal services, and advocates for the indigent in the United States.