Media Contact

Lily Defriend, ldefriendnolsw@gmail.com, Diana Lee, dlee@nyclu.org

June 11, 2021
NYCLU
NOLSW UAW logo

NEW YORK – The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the National Association of Legal Services Workers, UAW, Local 2320 (NOLSW) together proudly announced the formation of a new collective bargaining unit to represent NYCLU employees.

“Having a strong union within one of the largest organizations in our country is essential to ensuring that the core values of the American Civil Liberties Union are upheld internally, as we also push for equity and worker protection in our external advocacy. Workers at the New York Civil Liberties Union came together with a shared vision of union power in our organization, and for the past year we have been diligent in ensuring that vision comes to fruition,” said NYCLU Staff in a joint statement. “Voluntary union recognition is only the first step, and we are looking forward to robust discussions with management where our shared values of worker protection and equity for all staff are upheld as the highest priorities.”

“The right of workers to organize has been a foundational part of the ACLU’s mission since its founding over 100 years ago. We are proud to support people’s rights to collectively bargain, both at the NYCLU and for all workers,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director at the NYCLU. “We believe our new partnership will make the NYCLU a stronger workplace, and we look forward to continuing to work with the union.”

When Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Albert DeSilver, Helen Keller, and other activists came together to form the American Civil Liberties Union, labor rights were at the forefront of their work. Their support of employees to organize unions and bargain collectively during the anti-union crusades in the 1920s elevated the organization as a leader in the fight for equality and justice in our country. Since then, the ACLU has fought to bolster the rights of workers, including winning important First Amendment protections for workers in court. Workers at the NYCLU are continuing this legacy with the creation of this union.

The NYCLU is the state affiliate of the national ACLU, a nationwide organization with a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. The ACLU uses litigation, advocacy, organizing, and public education to end mass incarceration, advance racial equity and immigrant justice, protect voting rights, achieve full equality for LGBTQ people, and safeguard people’s privacy.

The National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), UAW Local 2320, is the union representing employees in federally-funded legal services programs across the USA as well as employees in law offices, advocacy organizations, human and social services programs across the country.