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Brave Space Alliance workers form union

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Workers at Brave Space Alliance (BSA) have announced the formation of a union on Friday, March 25. It was quickly recognized by the BSA leadership.

BSA is a Black- and trans-led LGBTQ center on Chicago’s South Side. The center’s employees are forming a union under Communications Workers of America District 4.

The union said in a press release that the union was announced with the support of all workers to work toward increased transparency, equity, and well-being of staff.

The union noted the accomplishments of the BSA in the past year including celebrating its fifth anniversary, hiring diverse staff and expanding to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic with COVID relief, housing, clothing, food delivery and support services.

“As our commitments grow, so must our collective capacity as dedicated workers at Brave Space Alliance,” the union stated. “We believe that the best way to increase our capacity as staff is through a collective contract, which is why we, the staff of Brave Space Alliance, are unionizing.”

On Monday, BSA leadership voluntarily recognized the union and supported the action.

“LaSaia Wade, Founder, CEO, Brave Space Alliance and the community-based organization’s leadership team voluntarily and cooperatively recognized the impending formation of a union, to further establish a democratic and safe workplace,” the organization said on their Facebook page. “We congratulate our staff on their accomplishment, and look forward to engaging in the collective bargaining process with them.”

The new union welcomed the quick and voluntary recognition.

“This is the collective community care we aim to have represented in our work and to extend in the Chicago queer community that we hold so close to our hearts,” the union said in a statement. “We appreciate BSA’s leadership commitment to good faith in bargaining as we all move forward in a new and mutually beneficial future.”

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