In an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, workers at Planned Parenthood in Maine today voted overwhelmingly to form a union with ours: The Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union. Eighty three percent of the workers voted to unionize, according to the official vote.
Workers came together to form their union in order to advocate effectively for their patients, volunteers and communities, and to gain a voice in their wages, benefits and working conditions. They are determined to use their union rights to advance equity at Planned Parenthood, particularly racial equity, within the organization and in the delivery of services.
“Today’s vote by the workers at Planned Parenthood is an extraordinary achievement. They organized their union election during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s unprecedented; it speaks volumes to their commitment and dedication to the work they do,” said Allison Perkins, vice president of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. “With face to face organizing limited, the workers at Planned Parenthood in Maine had to communicate with each other virtually through Zoom calls and shared messaging as they united for a voice at work.”
Continuing, Vice President Perkins said, “The workers at Planned Parenthood refused to let the pandemic interfere with their right to form a union. On behalf of all the members of MSEA, we congratulate the workers at Planned Parenthood on their union election and look forward to working together to advocate for each other and the services we all provide. Now more than ever, workers need a voice at work to ensure safe and healthy worksites, and respect for the work they do.”
The workers at Planned Parenthood are the latest group of workers at a nonprofit agency in Maine to form a union with ours. One year ago, workers at the anti-poverty agency Preble Street voted to unionize with us. The workers at Preble Street, who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer ratified their first union contract, making substantial progress on the issues that led them to unionize: safety, quality services and respect for the work they do.
By voting today to form a union with MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, which represents over 13,000 Maine workers, the workers at Planned Parenthood in Maine exercised their right to have a voice at work. To learn more about your rights to form a union in your workplace, contact MSEA-SEIU Director of Organizing and Field Operations Angela MacWhinnie.