First Overdose Prevention Centers in US Have Voted to Unionize

OnPoint United is preventing for a wall-to-wall union, job safety, higher well being care and a democratic office.

Staff at OnPoint NYC formally submitted their demand for voluntary union recognition on Thursday, December 8. The employees, who’re demanding union recognition with the New England Joint Board of UNITE HERE, are calling their union OnPoint United. They’re preventing for a wall-to-wall union, higher job safety for workers, higher healthcare, and a democratization of the office.

The unionizing employees acknowledge each employee’s proper to a union. Of their union recognition letter, they write:

OnPoint NYC rightfully prides itself in having a workforce which is comprised of a variety of people, lots of whom have various life expertise, a few of whom are beforehand incarcerated, and plenty of of whom come from assorted ranges of instructional background or coaching. We acknowledge that whatever the workforce background, stage of coaching, or instructional standing, all employees have a proper to a union.

OnPoint NYC is the results of a latest merger between New York Hurt Discount Educators (NYHRE) and Washington Heights Nook Challenge (WHCP), two long-standing hurt discount organizations in East Harlem and Washington Heights. It really works to enhance the well being and properly being of marginalized individuals who use medicine or have interaction in intercourse work. The group is the operator of the nation’s first two overdose consumption websites and not too long ago introduced it has intervened in over 600 overdoses since its one-year anniversary. At these websites, contributors can use medicine safely beneath medical supervision and procure protected drug use provides, measures confirmed to save lots of lives world wide. OnPoint NYC’s websites present plenty of different providers together with complete medical care, case administration, holistic healthcare, and acupuncture.

OnPoint NYC will not be the primary hurt discount group to file for union recognition within the US. Housing Works, one other New York Metropolis-based group, not too long ago unionized and employees at VOCAL-NY submitted their calls for for union recognition this previous October. These unionizations come within the context of the continued pro-union sentiment within the US.

Staff at OnPoint NYC face the legacy of the racist, anti-worker, anti-poor drug warfare which assaults predominantly poor, racialized, and dealing class individuals every day. The warfare on medicine championed the criminalization of medication and drug use over a public health-focused, hurt reduction-based method. Unionizing employees should deal with the outcomes of a capitalist system that creates poverty, inequality, psychological struggling, and dependancy.

Below capitalism, nevertheless, numerous social providers, together with hurt discount providers supplied by workers of OnPoint NYC, are privatized as a substitute of socialized for the general public good beneath employee and group management. As member of Left Voice and doctor at OnPoint NYC, Michael Pappas states:

OnPoint NYC strives to offer a humanizing area for individuals utilizing substances. There’s an attention-grabbing relationship right here because the providers OnPoint NYC offers are helpful to the capitalist system in a approach as a result of it’s superb for the ruling class to maintain the tip results of capitalism—poverty, homelessness, psychological struggling, and so forth.—out of the general public eye for the continued facilitation of personal accumulation beneath the system. On the similar time, by treating individuals utilizing medicine with love, compassion, and respect and demanding they’re handled like people, we will battle to indicate that our contributors, together with the general public usually, deserve a system higher than capitalism.

As the employees at OnPoint NYC battle for his or her union recognition and the hurt discount trade joins the labor motion, there may very well be area for employees within the sector to escalate their calls for past office protections to confront capitalism, the system that creates the varied types of struggling hurt discount employees see day by day. In our battle towards capitalism, there should even be a recognition of the function of NGOs in serving to disguise the violence of the capitalist state, which serves to handle and defend the affairs of the bourgeoisie. Each for-profit and nonprofit firms find yourself exploiting employees and sometimes put greenback indicators on individuals’s lives.

Unionization, particularly of employees who’re a part of the group itself, is a primary step towards a stronger system of employee and group management. The unionizing of OnPoint NYC may exemplify to different social service businesses how the unorganized can arrange themselves. We’d like a system the place employees, sufferers, and group members management their workplaces and care, not the bosses.

Buddy, we’d like your assist.

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