Adapted from our Brothers and Sisters at IAM District 160.

Approximately 116 employees at non-profit Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) voted overwhelmingly to join IAM District 160. The year-long organizing victory overcame many obstacles, including various attempts by management to negatively influence union supporters, and being completely virtual at every step of the process.

“So many of us poured many of our hopes, concerns, and aspirations for a more equitable workplace into this movement,” shared one bargaining unit member of LEE staff. “Each and every one of us felt some level of vulnerability throughout this process, but we are so glad it has paid off. We’re excited about the work to come. We know we’ve only just begun.”

“We whole-heartedly support our LEE non-profit brothers, sisters, and siblings in their desire to unionize,” said District 160 Acting Directing Business Representative Bonnie Kosten. “LEE employees’ commitment to strengthening their workplace by joining together with their colleagues is impressive, and we are so excited they have decided to organize with us!” 

“I want to welcome the LEE employees into our Machinists family,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Their organizing campaign was unique and special in so many ways. The fact they never wavered in their conviction to join the IAM says a lot about their fortitude and courage. I thank and congratulate District 160 Acting Directing Business Representative Bonnie Kosten, GLR Joe Solis and Organizer Melisa Demyan and all those involved at District 160 for making this organizing drive a success.”

Leadership for Educational Equity is a national nonprofit leadership development organization inspiring and supporting a network of civic leaders to end the injustice of educational inequity. LEE employs over 100 non-supervisory employees who work to advance LEE’s mission of inspiring and supporting a diverse, enduring movement of leaders to engage civically within their communities to end the injustice of educational inequity.

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