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CWA Local 1180-Bird Union Members Flock to Colorado to Make Their Voices Heard

Members of CWA Local 1180-Bird Union, workers at the National Audubon Society, brought their fight for a fair contract to the annual Audubon Leadership Conference in Estes Park, CO last weekend. The CWAers held rallies and educated attendees from Audubon chapters across the country about their struggle for a fair contract and how bargaining fairly would be a victory for all that will strengthen the organization.

The workers have been at the bargaining table for their first union contract for 20 months now, with negotiations overseen by a federal mediator since March. CWA landed a major victory in October when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that, across four cases, Audubon violated federal labor law by bargaining in bad faith and violating the rights of its workers. Earlier this year, Audubon rolled out new, enhanced benefits only to non-union staff, while withholding the benefits from union staff, and then presented them to the union as contract proposals and urged the union to quickly accept the substandard and incomplete contract in order to access the new benefits.

“At the bargaining table, we’ve been fighting for the benefits that our families need, like expanding paid parental leave beyond the two weeks we currently have,” said Lindsy Buckland, office coordinator for Audubon’s Seabird Institute in Maine and a member of the bargaining committee. “While dragging out negotiations, Audubon expanded parental leave benefits for non-union staff but denied that benefit to us. For my coworker who had a baby this year, that is time that they will never get back with their family.”

Since negotiations began, Audubon has hired Littler Mendelson, a law firm notorious for union-busting, and has at times gone months without meeting with the CWA bargaining committee. 

You can help!Click here to sign on to the Bird Union’s letter encouraging Audubon CEO Dr. Elizabeth Gray, the Executive Team, and the Board of Directors to settle a fair contract.