Workers at a Portland childcare chain announced a union campaign Feb. 17 that would include about 75 workers at all three day care centers operated by Growing Seeds Learning Community. If they officially win a union through voluntary recognition or a government-administered union election, they would become members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 5, which represents workers at Powell’s Books, the Oregon Historical Society, and two local veterinary hospitals.
Growing Seeds, founded in 2004, has grown to three locations in Portland: 6505 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 2808 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and 2808 SE Steele St. The centers provide care and instruction for children aged six weeks to six years.
A press statement announcing the union cited “unfair compensation, unsanitary working conditions, and lack of support for teachers,” as reasons for the decision to unionize, along with a desire to have a stronger voice in anti-bias training.
“Any positive changes to our working conditions will result in positive changes in the experiences of the children we work with,” said Growing Seeds preschool teacher Olivia Pace in the statement.