Friday, April 30, 2021

Brookings Not Ready to Voluntarily Recognize Union

Here is more from Brookings United, which is made up of nearly 200 non-supervisory workers at the Brookings Institution:

We are writing to share two updates. First, yesterday was the deadline that we gave Brookings for responding to our request for voluntary recognition. Unfortunately, Brookings senior management has informed us that they have not yet reached a decision, and will not be giving us an answer at this time.

We are disappointed in this answer, in particular because it does not respect the timeline that we had requested from management. This should be an easy decision for Brookings given that its own research demonstrates, time after time, the importance of unions.

While we hope that this isn’t the case here, slow-walking is a tactic that some employers use to dilute the strength and momentum of workers’ organizing efforts. In the event that Brookings does not want to recognize our union, we are likely to hear significantly more delays. Management at the Urban Institute, a similarly-minded organization whose union requested recognition on the same day as us, already signaled their intent to begin voluntary recognition last week.

We have requested that management give us an answer on their intent to voluntarily recognize our union by this Friday, April 30. We also wanted to share that support for our effort is widespread and growing within the Brookings community. Yesterday 45 scholars and senior staff members (and growing!) signed a public letter requesting that Brookings voluntarily recognize our union. 


Brookings employees formed a union on April 13, and here are some of the reasons given as to why a union was formed.  Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece about the union push at major US think tanks. 

Update: On April 30, Brookings United said that the Brookings Institution has signaled its intent to begin voluntary recognition of the union.