Progressive Democrats embrace the idea of unions and the organization of employees, but apparently, that’s not always the case.
According to New York Magazine, a number of employees at Civis Analytics, who were some of the company’s most outspoken and willing to raise questions when needed, were suddenly fired just days before the 2020 election with no warning or obvious cause, other than they were the ones most likely to speak out on certain company practices.
Employees Sarah Klem and Sunny Rao indicated that the progressive “social good” firm failed to provide any explanation for the oddly-timed firings. After teaming up to find out what went wrong, they learned later in the day that 11 Civis employees received the same notice.
Not long after the devastating news, which left the employees without healthcare insurance in the middle of a pandemic, a group of seven of the terminated employees filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), writing that they believe they’d been wrongfully terminated for attempting to organize.
Unfortunately, the attempt at reconciliation failed, as the NLRB dismissed the charge with a board executive indicating at the time that the standards to prove unlawful retaliation in a workplace had been raised during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
When pressed on why the employees were actually terminated, CEO Dan Wagner told the outlet that due to the fact that the election was all but over and because of a loss of clients due to the pandemic that the company had an “overcapacity” of staff, saying he “made the difficult decision to lay off ten staff members based on our core values of communication, collaboration & teamwork, and problem-solving.”
Wagner went on to deny the allegations that the terminations were based on the reason that the employees who were let go happened to be the ones willing to question the company and who were known to “organize” outside of official work channels to bring attention to various company issues.
“We need the collective power of labor to be able to hold organizations accountable, especially when companies prioritize profits over people and working toward social good,” Rao said recently, as the employees await a transition of party power on the NLRB board.
While it’s unclear whether or not this story will gain any additional attention from the national media, it’s fascinating to see such a progressive company quickly turn on a small group of employees who felt the need to organize. Civis Analytics might say they support unions and organized labor on their website, but only if it’s not happening within their own organization.