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Disabled Workers Unite for Respect with LIUNA Local 572

Arlington, Va. (April 27, 2017) – Contract workers at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va. have reason to celebrate – after coming up short in 2016 in their effort to join together in a union, workers voted last week to join LIUNA Local 572 by a two-to-one margin.

The workers are employed by Didlake, a contractor which is part of the Ability One program to provide work opportunities for the disabled. The workers at the readiness center who joined LIUNA are cleaners and floor technicians who are predominantly blind or otherwise disabled. Typically, disabled workers have been excluded from the National Labor Relations Act. But LIUNA persuaded the Regional Director for Region 5 of the National Labor Relations Board that the employees of Didlake were performing primarily commercial, not rehabilitative, work.

In October 2016, workers had attempted to form a union, but lost by one voter. LIUNA alleged illegal employer conduct, resulting in the election being overturned. In a rerun election on April 27, workers voted overwhelmingly for Local 572.

“All workers, regardless of their abilities, should have the right to unite for respect and better working conditions,” said Larry Doggette, Local 572 Business manager. “We look forward to representing both disabled and non-disabled workers alike, as we do in several other sites around the area.”

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