‘Historic Day’ as Staff of 8 House Democrats File for Union Elections

Common Dreams – By Jessica Corbett – July 18, 2022

“For far too long, congressional staff have dealt with unsafe working conditions, unlivable wages, and vast inequity in our workplaces.”

Staffers of eight Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday took a key step toward unionizing by filing petitions for representation at the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.

Monday was the first day that congressional staff could make that move, after a resolution introduced in February by Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) passed the House in a May party-line vote.

Along with Levin’s staff, the offices of Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Jesús “Chuy” García (Ill.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Melanie Stansbury (N.M.) are seeking union elections.

“July 18 will go down as a historic day for congressional staff and our democracy—marking the day our protected rights to organize and bargain collectively go into full effect,” said the Congressional Workers Union (CWU) in a statement.

The development comes after months of organizing and as workers at major corporations nationwide are also pushing for union representation.

“From Amazon and Starbucks to the halls of Congress to state legislatures across our country,” CWU said, “every worker deserves the protected right of freedom of association, joining together with their colleagues in solidarity to organize and bargain collectively for a better workplace.”

“We are bringing worker power and equitable conditions to one of the most powerful institutions in the world,” tweeted Saul Levin, a policy adviser to Bush. “And we are just getting started!”

Congressman Levin said in a statement that “I am so proud of the staffers who made a historic move today in seeking union recognition in eight offices with over 70 workers in the House, and I am incredibly humbled and honored to have played a modest role in helping realize the hard work of congressional staff who fought to make this moment possible.”

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Posted by Teri Perticone

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