Media Contact

Edith Bullard, chief communications officer, ACLU of Virginia - 804-418-1852 |

Evan Yeats, Washington-Baltimore News Guild - 319-310-5716 |

November 19, 2021

A photo of the ACLU-VA United's logo.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Washington-Baltimore News Guild announced today the voluntary recognition of its employees’ union. This is the first step in a collaborative process as the organization and the bargaining unit begin negotiating and executing a collective bargaining agreement covering wages, hours and working conditions as defined by the National Labor Relations Act.

The ACLU has long understood that protecting collective actions are often critical to protecting individual rights. In the 1920s, the national ACLU fought against anti-union campaigns. The ACLU has since built on that work, fighting for the rights of workers throughout its history. The staff’s move to form a collective bargaining unit – called the ACLU of Virginia United – continues the organization’s legacy of empowering and protecting workers.

“The ACLU of Virginia has proudly led the South in working toward a Commonwealth that is equitable for everyone. We understand that promoting workers’ rights is an important part of that fight. We believe that our staff should be afforded the protection to organize and choose to join a union. We happily support the rights of our staff to form a union, and we welcome the Washington-Baltimore News Guild as partners in our ongoing advocacy for civil rights and social justice,” said Mary Bauer, ACLU of Virginia executive director.

The ACLU of Virginia United stated, “Everyone at the ACLU of Virginia is passionate about bringing justice, equity, transparency, and inclusion to the Commonwealth, and as a unit, we strive to live up to those values internally. We are grateful to management for voluntarily recognizing our union. As new members of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, we look forward to working with the full ACLU-VA staff toward a sustainable workplace where all of us can thrive and focus on the important civil rights and civil liberties issues ahead. We’re hopeful that we’ll reach an equitable agreement that ensures our union will fulfill the vision of our organization.”

The unionization of the ACLU of Virginia is one in a growing number of ACLU affiliates and the national chapter of ACLU who have formed unions.