Daycare workers at Wild Lilac unionize

Twenty-one workers at a Southeast Portland daycare and preschool are now represented by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 5. In mail ballots counted Oct. 8, the tally was 13 to 2. 

Wild Lilac Child Development Community, located at 3829 SE 74th Ave., is a non-profit, and management didn’t oppose the union effort, says Local 5 organizer Ryan Takas. The organization’s director and several board members even issued statements of support for workers’ right to unionize.

That wasn’t the case at for-profit Growing Seeds, a daycare provider with three Portland locations. Workers there voted to join ILWU Local 5 in March 2020 and still don’t have a first union contract, though negotiations continue.

Oregon AFSCME represents a number of Head Start programs, as well a non-traditional statewide group of certified family childcare providers. Locally just one other private daycare has workers that are union-represented. That’s Fruit and Flower Child Care Center at 2378 NW Irving St., where workers have long been represented by the AFT-Oregon. 

Local 5 isn’t one of ILWU’s longshore locals, but includes workers at Powell’s Books, Oregon Historical Society, and a Vancouver veterinary hospital.

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