Workers at a nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse have acted in overwhelming numbers to help themselves by voting for union representation through the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.
By a 32-6 count, the employees of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) overcame a management campaign against the Guild.
Another 17 positions are in dispute. RAINN claimed that the 17 were promoted into supervisorial jobs prior to the vote (May 18 and 20) and thus not eligible for union representation. Their votes were not counted, but the 32 “Yes” ballots confirm that WBNG will be representing as many as 60 workers.
The workers directly counsel sex abuse victims who mostly contact RAINN on-line. Much of the 20-year-old organization’s funding comes from the Department of Defense.
Almost all of the Guild-covered employees are part-timers who get no benefits – no sick leave, no vacation, no health insurance – and most are paid around $15 per hour. RAINN reported that as of a year ago, its executive director’s annual salary was $293,000.
RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. According to the organization’s “About Us” Web page, Worth magazine credits the anti-violence organization with being one of “America’s 100 Best Charities.”