Congressional Staffers Are Holding Their First-Ever Union Vote

The Congressional Workers Union celebrated as House staffers began to vote on whether or not to form the First-ever Union within Congress. This was a right that was granted to congressional employees. This year, earlierHouse lawmakers

Staffers in Rep. Andy Levin’s (D-Michigan) office will be voting electronically on whether or not to unionize on Thursday and Friday. Levin was Original sponsor of the resolution that allowed staffers to unionize and granted them related labor protections; the resolution activated decades-old legislation outlining congressional workers’ right to form unions.

“This is a historic and momentous day for both the labor movement and democracy, as we watch a union election play out for the first time in a congressional office in the history of the U.S. Congress,” the union wrote in a press release.

If a majority of staffers vote “yes”They will be the first to unionize an office in congressional history. The union will not last long, however, because Levin was defeated in his August primary Moneyed interestsLike the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC). corporate groupsHe spent millions on his ousting.

However, there may be several other congressional unions that will survive Levin’s, if the vote succeeds. At least There are seven more offices have filed to unionize so far, including the offices of Representatives Cori Bush (Missouri), Chuy García (Illinois), Ro Khanna (California), Ted Lieu (California), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and Melanie Stansbury (New Mexico).

Though it’s unclear whether or not these offices will, indeed, vote to unionize, nearly all of the lawmakers whose offices will soon be voting Have spoken out in supportof the union.

“I am so proud of the staffers who made a historic move today,” said Levin in a statement in July, when his office filed a union petition. “It is the workers who ensure that this institution — the bedrock of our fragile and precious democracy — operates efficiently and serves the American people here in the Capitol and in every corner of our nation.”

Workers will be ableto form unions once they have formed one. negotiate payAccording to Demand Progress, these benefits include parental leave and student loan repayment assistance.

Though there are Senate workers involved in the union, the chamber has not voted on the corresponding Senate resolution to activate their staffers’ right to unionize, and Would likely rejectIf it is voted down by Republicans and conservative Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia), the resolution will not be passed.

Staffers in Congress have reported for years poor working conditions in their offices as well as the halls of Congress. Workers Payrolls are lowMany of these workers struggle to pay for child care costs. Meanwhile, others of their caliber are offered better jobs in the private sector, such as lobbying or other positions.

Non-white workers are the most vulnerable. Research has foundOn average, non-white staffers who work for both major parties receive $5,600 less annually in the House and $9,000.00 less in the Senate. This — and the racist abuse that non-white staffers often face — could be part of the reason whyThere are many. few non-white staffersCapitol Hill

Non-white workers are more likely to be involved in the union effort. have been at the forefrontThe movement.

In recent months, Congressional Workers Union organizers have been involved in other activist efforts in Congress. This summer, several organizers within the union participated in a protest in Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) office, urging him and President Joe Biden to take action on the climate crisis after Manchin threw water coldClimate-related negotiations in July