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Washington D.C. – After months of contentious contract negotiations and allegations of illegal union-busting, the Sierra Club staff in the Progressive Workers Union (PWU) National Unit  is set to strike beginning tomorrow, July 2, 2024 at 8am EST, unless a deal is reached. Workers are planning pickets for tomorrow at Sierra Club offices in Washington D.C., Oakland, and Los Angeles to run from 8am-6pm local time.

“Our members are fed up with the endless disrespect for our union and our rights. We’re ready to strike to show the Sierra Club that we matter,” said Walter Keady, PWU President and a Sierra Club staffer. “This strike is not just about bread and butter benefits, it is about setting a clear precedent that our union will not stand for retaliation or any attempt to roll-back key protections for workers at the organization.” 

PWU members are asking the Sierra Club to resolve the strike through the following:  

  • Address the outstanding Unfair Labor Practice charges that PWU filed with the National Labor Relations Board, such as the cancellation of retaliatory firings targeting union leaders, including elected officials, bargaining team members, and stewards.
  • Come to an agreement with PWU on key collective bargaining agreement (CBA) provisions, bargain in good faith, and move away from anti-union proposals that would gut existing provisions in the contract. 
  • Reduce layoffs and provide the strongest possible layoff package by accepting the PWU National unit’s offer to forgo their one time 7% raise, reinstate 12 laid off positions, and protect union jobs with a layoff moratorium through the end of 2025. 

PWU and the Sierra Club have scheduled federal mediation on July 1 and July 3, but the union has communicated to the Sierra Club repeatedly that mediation on the CBA alone will not resolve PWU’s strike that’s in response both to the organization’s unfair labor practices and contract negotiations.

“We wish things wouldn’t have come to this, but Sierra Club has given us no choice but to plan to strike in the face of an unrelenting anti-union campaign under Executive Director Ben Jealous” said Erica Dodt, Vice President of PWU and a union leader facing retaliatory layoff. “We are eager to see if Sierra Club will bring forward proposals to avert the strike today, otherwise we will look forward to resuming our critical work at the Sierra Club once management respects the will of our members and addresses our outstanding demands.”