A Brooklyn mother of three, who spoke to BuzzFeed News under the pseudonym Tori, started a petition calling for school boards in New York and New Jersey to allow Gen Z to form unions. In 2017, her children — a grade schooler, an 8th grader and a middle schooler — asked for more paid, non-profit child care, and she told BuzzFeed she was shocked when the schools denied them their request.
Tori, who is Latina, says she was worried “for their future,” and “tired of this constant fight for equality.” Her argument: Gen Z is seeing the struggle for college debt and paying for a house that make those of their parents’ generation proud, but isn’t getting treated the same.
Tori was spurred to create the petition after her daughter was denied an Organize NYC membership, on the grounds that the organization is a union-recognized, independent organization but not a union itself. Organize NYC, Tori alleges, is run by people with ties to NUL, who “managed to destroy it from within and force it to exist in name only.”
Tori was subsequently fired.
The petition, which has garnered more than 6,000 signatures to date, argues that, “like most Americans, they are demanding basic equality of pay, unpaid sick days, affordable and accessible child care, promotion for all, competitive pay and recognition by the administration to deal with the real issues in the workplace.”
A petition has been started in support of Gen Z’s demand for union recognition @nildaowens https://t.co/JMHhhyH9g1 pic.twitter.com/37hQ9brnKG — BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 17, 2018
BuzzFeed News reached out to Tori’s former union representative, the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Their official response: