Howard Brown Health workers file to unionize and join the Illinois Nurses Association

Howard Brown Health workers
Howard Brown Health workers, who filed to unionize their workplace, were joined by Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa outside of Howard Brown offices on June 6, 2022. Photo credit Nancy Harty

Employees at Howard Brown Health and its resale stores across Chicago have filed to unionize and join the Illinois Nurses Association.

The petition to the National Labor Relations Board would cover some 400 part-time and full-time employees at a dozen locations affiliated with the federally qualified, LGBTQ-focused health center.

Ronnie Peterson, who’s worked at Brown Elephant for three years, was among the Howard Brown workers who showed up outside of the non-profit's offices.

“They’re disenfranchising the very community they aim to serve by not offering their majority-queer staff full-time status, with benefits,” Peterson said.

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) joined the group outside the Howard Brown offices.

“If Howard Brown wants to stand up for the LGBTQ community ... stand up for people of color ... [and] stand up for workers who face discrimination in the workplace, then they should lead by example and voluntarily recognize this union,” Ramirez-Rosa said.

WBBM has reached out to the non-profit for comment.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nancy Harty